Will This Be Tim Pawlenty’s Big Week?

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(credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

(credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — There’s speculation Mitt Romney will announce his running mate this week, and according to the New York Times, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty may again be on the short list. The very short list.

The Times says Republicans close to the Romney campaign believe Pawlenty and Ohio Sen. Rob Portman are the two standouts at this point. It’s not surprising to local political experts.

“I think Pawlenty has a legitimate shot,” author of The Morning Take and WCCO Radio contributor Blois Olson said, adding that Pawlenty provides a sound, safe choice for Romney.

Steve Schmidt, the man who passed over Pawlenty as a running mate for John McCain in 2008 for Sarah Palin, tells the New York Times that Pawlenty is the “anti-Palin.”

Olson agrees.

“Going the safe route, or less-dramatic route than Sarah Palin is more like Mitt Romney’s personality, and it’s more like Tim Pawlenty’s personality,” he said.

Hamline law professor and political expert David Schultz says Pawlenty would provide a balance on the Republican ticket.

“(Pawlenty’s) working-class roots offset the rich-boy image of Mitt Romney,” Schultz said.

But Schultz points out political strategy would dictate another choice for Romney.

“If you actually think that selecting a VP matters in terms of helping you win votes, then Sen. Portman out of Ohio is much more critical,” Schultz said. “Republicans probably can’t win the presidency unless they pick up the state of Ohio.”

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