Reporting Esme Murphy
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — You could say former Gov. Tim Pawlenty was left at the alter four years ago when John McCain bypassed him for the No. 2 spot on the GOP ticket, choosing instead Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.
But the Pawlenty VP buzz is back big time — with the influential website Politico even naming him as the frontrunner for the job.
So how is the former Governor handling the speculation the second time around?
From the moment Pawlenty abandoned his own bid for the Presidency, he has been an enthusiastic supporter and surrogate for Gov. Romney.
On Sunday morning, Pawlenty was asked about the running mate spot on “Face the Nation.”
“I have indicated that I could probably best serve Gov. Romney as a volunteer or as a surrogate speaker where Governor Romney can’t go,” he said. “I have encouraged people who have asked this question in the campaign to look at other prospects but obviously anyone who would be asked to serve in a position like that would be honored to be asked.”
On WCCO Sunday Morning, Professor Larry Jacobs talked about Pawlenty’s chances of getting it.
“No doubt it’s for real and clearly the folks around Mitt Romney, and Mitt Romney, have a lot of respect for Tim Pawlenty to have him out campaigning extensively for them,” Jacobs said. “I think it’s more likely that we are going to see a Washington insider who knows their way around Capitol Hill — someone like Sen. Rob Portman from Ohio, rather than someone who looks a lot like Mitt Romney, a Governor.”
Ohio is also a big state that is up for grabs. Many analysts say with the Presidential race, as close as it is, Romney will have to choose someone from a swing state like Portman or Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida.
But VP candidates in recent years have not always delivered their home states — and as McCain showed in 2008, a nominee’s choice for the No. 2 spot can defy the conventional wisdom.
You can watch WCCO Sunday Morning with Esme Murphy every Sunday at 10:30 a.m.