Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
February 11, 2008
POLITICS: Meet Tim Pawlenty

I'm a big believer in the idea that political campaigns on a national level are influenced very heavily by personality and character, and thus much must be learned about a candidate by watching them in action rather than just ticking off issue positions and lines on the resume. Yet even in this interconnected age, even political junkies often seem to end up forming strong opinions about politicians they know only by record and reputation.

There is bound to be another round of speculation on the way about who is and isn't an appropriate choice for the next entires on national stage, starting with the likely GOP running mate for John McCain. Let's take a video tour, starting with one of the top short-listers, Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty.

Here's Gov. Pawlenty on Sen. McCain, who he supported in the primary race (though McCain lost the Minnesota caucuses to Mitt Romney);

Here he is explaining how those caucuses work:

Here's a Pawlenty press conference on fighting illegal immigration:

Here's Pawlenty in a crisis, dealing with last year's bridge collapse:

Here he is denying any interest in a vice presidential bid:

Here's a speech touting McCain at an Americans for Prosperity event in Florida:

Here's Gov. Pawlenty doing an interview on McCain's behalf in New Hampshire:

Finally, go here for a collection of videos of Pawlenty's 2006 gubernatorial debates, including his answer to an audience question about his top priority in his second term:

CONCLUSION: As the relatively youthful second-term governor of a key swing state, early McCain supporter and a guy who bucked the national trend by winning re-election in 2006, Pawlenty is (denials to the contrary) certain to be on every VP short list.

On the plus side, it's not hard to see why Pawlenty's low-key, regular-guy persona has gone over so well with suburbanites inclined to vote for "Minnesota nice," and Pawlenty would probably go over better with female voters than a crusty old-timer like Fred Thompson or Phil Gramm. On the negative side, he's not a very commanding figure, and combined with his relative youth (he'll be 48 in November; he's only a year older than Obama) there's a risk that he could get Quayle-ized by the media.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 8:09 AM | Politics 2008 | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

I went to law school with Tim and his wife (who is another asset BTW--smart and accomplished in her own way; good connections with Christian groups) and I think your analysis is pretty good. I do think that the Republicans need to connect better to younger and suburban voters, and Tim can do that--as well as put Minnesota, Iowa, and Wisconsin in play. The way I see it, it is critical to keep Iowa and Missouri in the Republican column this year. Even if the Republicans lose Ohio they can still win if they can pick up New Hampshire and hold on to the midwestern and western states that Bush won in 2004. That is why it is so important to try to find a VP candidate who can hold onto red states and maybe even flip a blue state or two.

Posted by: DoDlawyer at February 12, 2008 3:07 PM
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