Meet Tim Pawlenty

Let's Go To The Videotape

By Dan McLaughlin Posted in | | | | Comments (73) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »

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. You know the tune by now: ideas don't run for president, people do. 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.

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Meet Tim Pawlenty 73 Comments (0 topical, 73 editorial, 0 hidden) Post a comment »

... I guess with him being from Minnesota, I've assumed he's just a bit on the moderate side. Early on, I'm a big fan of Mark Sanford as a running mate, but I'm definitely open to Pawlenty. It's about time the GOP made inroads in the upper midwest.

According to Democrats, it’s greedy to want to keep your own money, but it’s “justice” to demand someone else’s.

--Jonah Goldberg

I noticed that he signed a Single Salex Tax Reform bill for MN. I couldn't find any specific info about this and the general info I did find insinuated that it was similar to the Fair Tax. What is it?

Nope by zuiko

It has to do with how corporate income tax is charged to companies that do business in Minnesota. It used to take sales, payroll, and property into account. Now it will just take sales into account. The idea is to make it more attractive for people to hire and build in Minnesota, since hiring and building won't affect their corporate income tax burden.
Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself. - Milton Friedman

But he is a conservative. He won't be a transformative leader, but he could be someone who could bring the party together.

It should be mentioned that Pawlenty's blue collar upbringing really impacts his perspective as a politician. The son of a truck driver and the youngest of, I think it was... 5 brothers? He worked very hard to get where he is and after graduating law he worked as as prosecutor -- not a defense lawyer.

In Pawlenty, you have someone who is truly dedicated to being a public servant, which is a plus, but his greatest weakness would be his aptitude for being second-in-line to lead the free world. He's very bright and isn't a bumbler, so the chances of being Quayled is much lower, but I would be very interested in seeing Pawlenty describe in detail trade policies because having a full ticket that isn't well versed in economics could be troubling to the conservative base.

That Pawlenty supports Reimportation of Prescription Drugs from Canada and is arguably one of the biggest supporters of corn-based ethanol mandates in the country. Those issues, along with how exactly Pawlenty views unions and trade, should be addressed if his name gains further traction in the VP discussion.

in my book.

Sanford is still higher than him in my view.

According to Democrats, it’s greedy to want to keep your own money, but it’s “justice” to demand someone else’s.

--Jonah Goldberg

I don't have a problem with it. We should force the drug makers to choose whether they want to sacrifice profits in the US or all their revenue in price controlled nations. The way the system works right now is that we end up subsidizing Canada and much of the rest of the world's drugs. We should put an end to that strategy and force the drug makers to decide whether they want to refuse to sell for what Canada is paying and get full price from the US market, or whether they are willing to accept less from both the US and Canada. They should have to make a choice.

As far as ethanol goes, it's a very good thing for the state of Minnesota... so why wouldn't he support it? We grow a lot of corn and produce a lot of ethanol. Governors seek to expand their state's industries, not destroy them. I don't think he would be doing his job if he wasn't an ethanol booster.
Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself. - Milton Friedman

Where did you get the idea that the United States uses taxpayer dollars to subsidize the Canadian health care system?

I don't want to do anything to hurt the companies that are saving people's lives, raising the standards of living, and giving hope to those currently suffering from diseases currently without cures. Every dollar that a prescription drug company makes in part goes to the research and development of new and better drugs. Why would we ever want to do anything that would discourage their healthiness when its directly related to our healthiness?

On ethanol, sure it may be good for Minnesota, but why shouldn't he support it? How about standing for virtue? Corn-based ethanol is a joke, an awful waste, and is actually hurting our environment. Either Pawlenty's ethics or intelligence should be called into question regarding this issue.

They get cheap "negotiated" prices on drugs in Canada and Western Europe. It costs a fortune to develop a pill, and then almost nothing to crank out bottles of the stuff. Someone still has to pay the R&D, and it isn't the rest of the world that's footing that bill. It's us. Because we'll pay whatever you want and we promise not to just reimport the drug at the "negotiated" price. This system enables price controls elsewhere in the world. We are providing a subsidy to those systems here. We are helping them stay afloat. If we were to end that... it would threaten these price control regimes in the rest of the world. Seems like a nobrainer to me.
Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself. - Milton Friedman

I would think Sen. Lindsey Graham has the inside track.
Wyoming people deserve the truth!

McCain needs to choose a governor. We don't need two Washington politicians on the ticket.

Plus, two members of the Gang of 14 would definitely result in a conservative backlash, whether justified or not.

According to Democrats, it’s greedy to want to keep your own money, but it’s “justice” to demand someone else’s.

--Jonah Goldberg

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"If we want to take this party back, and I think we can someday, let’s get to work." – Barry Goldwater

If he was going to chose one of the insiders from the campaign I'd think Coburn much better fits the overall theme.

When I saw McCain in SC, Graham did the introductions, but Coburn was the warmup act. Also, during the question and answer period, a number of questions were fielded by Coburn, or by McCain and Coburn together, and finally, Coburn and McCain both got a wrapup spiel.

SC is Graham's state, but it was the Tom and John show all the way.

Although not necessarily not a great one. From the little bit I have read and know about him, he is fairly conservative and, perhaps unusual for a governor, has shown an interest in foreign affairs (aside from a governor's normal interest in trade for his state). In fact, I think McCain was planning to include him in his annual trip to Munich for his defense conference.

Personally, I think Pawlenty is the pick. On the positive side, he is a Repubican governor in a "purple" state, is run and is fairly conservative. Plus he does have an amiable "regular guy" image that could probably play well in the general election.

On the negative side, Pawlenty has barely won his state (twice) and could not deliver the Minnesota caucus vote to McCain. Another thing is that, while he is conservative, he is not a "movement conservative" that would strengthen McCain with the base -- put please note, Pawlenty is conservative enough that he would not weaken McCain with the base -- and I really cannot say that he is the economic heavyweight that McCain said he was looking for. And while he is definitely not dumb or a lightweight, the flip side of his "regular guy" image is that he does not project the sort of gravitas that is reassuring in a national crisis.

Bottom line, Tim Pawlenty is not a bad VP pick for McCain. In fact, I think he will be the VP pick for McCain and on balance a good one. But my personal choice for McCain's VP is Mark Sanford, Governor of South Carolina.

That's a positive in 2006. We lost the Senate by over 20 points that year, and he won. It was a bad year. Just about any other (R) would have been blown out. As far as the caucus goes, I think the blame has to go to McCain's campaign on that. I got a half dozen calls from Romney's campaign before the caucus. None at all from McCain. Which is understandable, since there were no delegates up for grabs anyway. The straw poll we took on caucus day is non-binding and meaningless. That's what Romney won on Super Tuesday.
Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself. - Milton Friedman

I don't vote there now, having moved across the river into God's country (WI). But I was born and raised in MN and still work there.

Just ask our highly intelligent and well informed local favorite conservative radio host, Jason Lewis (who subs for Rush a lot lately), what he thinks of'll get an earful.

The Gov has raised taxes, banned smoking, supported sports stadium funding and entirely unneeded and unsuccessful yuppie rail system (first started by the genius Jesse Ventura who, I think, believed the trains would be his to take home and play with after office), ethanol supporter, and he seems to have a seat reserved next to McCain at the Global Warming cult meetings.

If people want a good Minnesota-nice guy as the VP, there is a much better choice than Pawlenty. It is Vin Weber, the ex Congressman from the conservative Reagan era. He's the guy who whooped Pawlenty's moderate ass in the MN caucus vote. Vin ran the Romney campaign there...and WON!!!

That is where the MN conservative vote went. If you are looking for an indication of Pawlenty's conservative support, it's hard to look past that.

The Rush Limbaughs of the world will make note of these things when they learn them. And if the very well versed Jason Lewis gets the national audience again soon, then conservatives everywhere will know the details.

Path to enlightenment: Four right turns, then go straight until you see the Light!

Since you are more familiar with Tim Pawlenty and his record than I am, i will lean more towards your opinion. However, I will not make a definitive opinion of him myself until I investigate him more myself.

I actually do, however, agree that Vin Weber might be a better choice. For one thing, I have no doubt about his conservative bona fides. The major thing about Weber is that he has been out of the public eye for a bit and I wonder how he would fair under the glare again.

My first choice remains, however, Mark Sanford. I think he would be a great match for McCain. The only problem with him as a VP choice is I don't think he adds much Red to the electoral vote column.

I've not made a point of following his career since he left Congress, but he has done it all politically. Regarding campains he has been everything from press guy to top guy. Because of his involvement in institutes, think tanks, endowments, etc. conservative thinkers will definitely know what conservative voters might not.

You want a REAL Reagan guy? How about the one who chairs the Gipper's beloved creation call the National Endowment for Democracy - Vin!

And he was Romney's policy guy. So, regardless what Mitt's history would show, the things conservatives seemed to like about what Romney said while campaigning (especially as the McCain situation became more dire) are things Vin probably put into his mouth.

In that sense of it, picking Vin would be like picking Romney yet not having the flip-flopper baggage.

I'll quit pimping for Vin now. I only chimed in because I think it might save some national conservatives a bit of time analyzing Pawlenty's bona fides by examining what the local experts such as Jason and the local conservative winners such as Vin think of the Gov.

I did not mean to convince you or anyone else that Vin is better than your other first choices, only that he would be much better than Pawlenty.

When he first started with Empower America, I "interfaced" with him frequently. But that was a long time ago and, although he has remained active in politics, he obviously has not been a candidate for anything sense before them.

I like Vin Webber, too, and think that "on paper" at least, he would be a good VP candidate. However, I also think that there is something to be said about someone who has run for something recently. You (and your family) need to be in a different mindset when you are the actual candidate and all the lenses are on you.

I agree Vin is a good man, I've knew him when I was younger, during the Reagan years.

But national name recognition is not his strong point.

Raised taxes? You mean the cigarette tax? I'd take the permanent income tax rate reductions he made in exchange for a cigarette tax hike any day.

Yuppie rail system? I assume you mean the Hiawatha Light Rail line, which was put in place by Jesse Ventura, not Pawlenty.

Stadium financing? Is there a governor out there that isn't willing to deal with MLB teams on stadium financing? Did you really think we were going to get away with never contributing to a new baseball stadium? Do you remember the last Republican governor Minnesota had? The one who called special session after special session to try to get a stadium funded? Do you remember what happened after we lost the North Stars? Didn't we end up building a new arena anyway so we could pick up an expansion team?

If you are going to maintain these kinds of purity standards, you are going to be spending the rest of your life all worked up unless you move elsewhere. Neither WI or MN are conservative states. Neither one has ever had anything approaching a perfect governor (Pawlenty is as close as the state of MN has ever come). Neither one is ever going to be low tax or small government states. That's a fact of life you need to deal with.

As far as Jason Lewis goes, he gets paid to complain on a small-time local radio show. That's what he does. He's not even particularly good at it. He is definitely not in the major leagues.
Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself. - Milton Friedman

I'm NOT wrong in my analysis that local conservatives picked Romney over Pawlenty and his man McCain.

That's not me talking, that's the primary election results.

A tax is a tax and a fee is a tax. And continued support for bad ideas -just to keep power- is a bad idea. But I'm not here to change your mind. I'm here to forewarn conservatives nationally that Pawlenty's power to carry the local base is suspect and the chances of his philosophy and record satisfying any presently discouraged conservatives nationally are NOT good.

Yes, Jason "gets paid to complain". The point is that the conservative listeners do not get paid to listen...yet they do listen in droves!

Romney had a campaign here. McCain didn't. That's why Romney won. The same reason he won almost every other caucus. Because you can call every likely caucus goer a half dozen times before the caucus. Unfortunately for Romney, that strategy doesn't work in primary states.

As for your equating a cigarette tax hike with across the board marginal tax rate reductions (that finally dropped MN out of the top 10 highest taxed states)... well... that kind of speaks for itself. You aren't ever going to win anything with that kind of attitude.
Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself. - Milton Friedman

A loss is a loss.

Would McCain have phoned it in while Romney phoned it out, as you imply, if he was considering the Pawlenty/Midwest strategy? Maybe, but I doubt it.

A tax is a tax and I did previously mention the cuts.

Once again, I'm not trying to talk you out of pulling for Pawlenty.

I'm just warning the national folks that he is not locally considered as a person who would pull McCain or his campaign's reputation any further to the right in case that is what conservatives are looking for right now.

I am not sure that he can deliver his home state in the general (if he could, that would be a different manner). He has also reconciled the budget by raising "fee's". We know how sensative the "Conservatives" are about that.

The VP should be be someone who can deliver a key swing state, or someone who is dynamic and can help mobilize Republicans in key blue collar areas (think OH, MO, TN).

Sarah Palin is still the tops of my board. I think she can relate to working class men and women, and explain why less pork barrel projects and less cronyism (both of which she has fought in Alaska) benefits them.

It has been pretty close lately without the Minnesota connection, and I would expect that to be worth several points. I also think McCain will appeal to the upper Midwest more than W did. He would also solidify WI and IA, which have also been problematic in recent years. Not a bad choice from a strategic point of view... but there's probably better choices out there.
Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself. - Milton Friedman

I think Republicans start 2008 assuming that Ohio, thanks to the Taft machine, is a lost cause (see e.g., the thumping the GOP took in 2006). Winning New Hampshire would make up for the loss of Ohio (270-268 GOP win in that scenario), but more realistically, I think the GOP is going to start looking at the upper Midwest to start making up the ground. Iowa was barely won and needs to be kept in the GOP column and Minnesota and Wisconsin barely went Dem. Finding someone that could keep the former and flip the latter two would be huge in any effort to win the White House. I don't know if Pawlently could do it, but I suspect the McCain camp is using some of their extra cash to see if he can, or conversely if it makes more sense to placate the right with a Sanford or try to solidify support in key states.

"The Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions."

However, I do not think that we need to have a politician from the upper mid-west in order to compete there. We do need someone who can speak to the suburban families about there concerns, on a kitchen table type of level. Obviously, Huckabee is really good at that type of dialogue, although I am not sure the Southern Baptist deal goes as well there.

Another choice is Sarah Palin, who can connect to working class women and families (and not the "Real Housewives of Orange County"). In regards to foreign policy, I do not think that you need to have too much experience. After all. Reagan was an actor and Governor of California, and Thatcher was just an MP and wife of a banker. But they were tough. That is what the nominee has to present.

Another good candidate would be Steele, who would help us in the Mid-Atlantic and Ohio, especially if Hillary is the candidate, as well as being able to talk those pocketbook issues.

She drives herself to work, has a son in the military, husband is a commercial fisherman and works on the slope.

She snowmobiles.

I've heard that she is a great debater.

She would play great in the upper midwest!

Since you both seem to be familiar with Tim Pawlenty and his record:

- zuiko, can you think of anything negative to say about Tim Pawlenty and his record, why he should not be McCain's VP pick?

- BuddhaB, can you think of anything positive to say about Tim Pawlenty and his record, why he should be McCain's VP pick?

He's been a governor for a term and a half, and before that he was just a state legislator. I'm not sure he's ready for the big leagues... though he's probably got about the same level of experience as W had.

I also wouldn't want to lose the guy as governor. Even though I don't agree with him on everything, he is the best governor we have ever (at least in living memory) had here and better than anybody we can expect to get elected to replace him.
Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself. - Milton Friedman

His support for income tax cuts and his ability to hold his seat in a losing year for Republicans are probably his best claims to conservative fame.

He's also young, but by that measure even I'd be a couple years better pick than he.

He's young, energetic and conservative. The three boxes McCain must check with his VP choice.

That he's from a purple state where the convention is being held is a nice bonus.

"Livin' the dream. I'm going to Disney World." Super Bowl XLII MVP, Elisha Nelson Manning

Veep possibilities.

First, Pawlenty is less a star in Minnesota than sometimes is assumed by conservatives outside of that state (as popular as, say, Crist in Florida). So it's not clear how much electoral college help he would bring to a ticket.

Second and most important, I don't see him as someone who can be Commander-in-Chief on Day One. McCain has said that this will be an election about consequential things. The most consequential is the war against Islamic fanaticism. A VP must be able to speak and act on these issues.

He must be ready to be president.

Frankly, I don't see Pawlenty as strong in these respects.

There obviously is much more to consider when choosing a VP. But the first criterion to winnow the possibilities must be an ability to lead the country in a prolonged war.

The following are folks who have what it takes to be Commander-in-Chief. They may have other weaknesses that disqualify them, but they make the first and most important cut.


There may be others who meet this test, and I'd be glad to add them to the list. But I don't think the Pawlentys and the Crists and the Sanfords have what it takes to be a wartime president.

... is old. So we are going to balance him with someone who is also old? The fact is, we have just as many younger Republicans in office that have just as much foreign policy experience as Hillary and Obama.

Besides, how much foreign policy experience did Reagan have, or JFK?

You just have to be no-nonsense in that regard, and project it.

None of the people on your list can go talk with people on a kitchen table basis (except maybe Ashcroft, who has a reputation for the common touch). In today's economy, these will be important issues.

Portman is kind of unknown on the campaign trail (although I like that he has a reputation of working smoothly with Democrats), and the VP nominee has to do all the Larry King, Oprah type deals (not to say that he can't, just that he hasn't).

I think that Palin and Steele can project the no-nonsense, as well as talk about the kitchen table issues, and generate a lot more excitement than another old white guy.

Pawlenty has some positives, of course.

But, with due respect to the comments above regarding regional politics, I don't believe Pawlenty would be an overall positive and don't believe he'd much help deliver the regional conservative base.

As far as conservative credentials calculus goes:

McCain + Pawlenty = McCain.

For those wondering how adding Pawlenty will affect regional voters, consider this:

The McCain / Pawlenty pairing just LOST in MN!

Pawlenty would be just a McCain light. I'll confirm what someone else said: Pawlenty is for spending big money on useless light rail, fought against a baseball stadium in the legislature and then as govenor couldn't wait to have the state build one for a local billionaire (BTW, there was a law that said the locals could vote on it but Pawlenty weasled his way around that), he is bigtime on silly gloable warming nonsense, was happy to sign a smoking ban (I love the idea of a guy who didnt spend a day in the military saying to some Vet sitting in a VFW club that he doesn't have the right to have a smoke with his drink). He looks to young for the part as well. How about Tom Ridge, a former marine, good expereince and lots a electoral votes in PA?

and vote-getting appeal. He (Pawlenty) also signed onto the Dem version of the stimulus package/bribe. He also was not able to put the Minnesota caucus in McCain's column -- maybe not a big deal but it indicates a lack of clout/smarts.

For one thing, the Upper Midwest is a really good pickup area for McCain. He will probably win Minnesota (and Wisconsin) anyway. Pawlenty doesn't add much, also, he doesn't do anything that I can see to appeal to conservatives (movement conservatives).

If he wants to bring in a big state he should go for Ridge or Portman, or even (shudder) Pataki.

My top choice: Michael Steele, the ex-Lt gov of Maryland. He's young, has strength in domestic areas (education), is the head of GOPAC and is wildly popular among conservatives. Would solidify support in these Atlantic coast & northeast states that mcCain can win.

And, of course, there's that all-important demographic:

Yep-- he's a Catholic!

Pawlenty isn't conservative enough for you (if that is what "Huckabee without the charm" is supposed to mean), yet you go on to suggest some pretty unconservative guys like Pataki, Ridge, and Steele? I do like Steele on a personal level, but what in the world does Pataki have going for him? I can't even imagine.
Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself. - Milton Friedman

When I talked about the other governors, I was not suggesting that I *wanted* MccCain to select them.

I was referencing some previous comments, which had suggested that mcCain might try to pick up a state thru the VP choice. And, if he wanted to do that, tht he mightpick Ridge or Pataki.

Not that I *wanted* him to pick Ridge or Pataki. I don't. They would be terrible choices.

Steele, tho, would be great. He's very conservative. No foreign policy though. But I have heard him speak & he is really exciting & inspiring.

I think Sarah Palin fits the bill.

As a plus, the Wonkette is already in love with her;)

She was a small town mayor before she ran for Governor, beat an established machine pol in the primary, running against cronyism and waste. She is middle class, with a husband who works on the slope and as a commercial fisherman (I think that he also dogsleds in his spare time), and drives her own kids to school,as well as drives herself around.

I think we need to ask how the country will react to a 44-year-old VP-nominee whose experience boils down to having been Gov. of the 47th-most populous state for a year-and-a-half.

In the pre-9/11 era, yeah I think she could've slid by. God knows her resume today is as impressive as Albert Gore's was in 1992, or Quayle's was in 1988, or Ferraro's in 1984. But times have changed, and I just don't think Gov. Palin puts enough on the table in terms of experience.

If she acquits herself well, and if she wins a strong re-election, then I will probably feel differently in 2012. But No, not this time.

I am in Orange County, and Cox is interesting because he understands economics, which I feel is important. The problem I have is that I feel that CEO economics won't be as important as kitchen table economics. I think on this regard eburke idea of Barbour is better.

Also, he will not help us win a State (even CA), and I am not sure who else he appeals to: white, middle-aged CFO's?

He is better as Sec. Treas.

You know, half the electorate in the battleground states will be women and minorities. It wouldn't hurt to have a candidate like
Steele or Palin. Due to the difference in registration, we start the general in the hole relative to the Dems. We win when we make a more compelling arguement to the blue collar electorate on the topics that are important to them during that cycle (security in 'O4; sincerity in '00; continuity and security in '88; economy and security in '84; economy, security and optimism in '80.

We will need to be able to talk to blue collar Dems and soccer moms about kitchen table anxieties, and how conservative policies benefit them. and that is not Cox's strength, and I am not sure that it is Sanfords.

Let Steele prove he's a political winner before he gets a VP slot. Let Palin prove she can govern.

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"If we want to take this party back, and I think we can someday, let’s get to work." – Barry Goldwater

He has never won a general election on his own. But Palin has, and took down tha King of Earmarks and Pet Projects.

This election is not going to be settled by you, or men like you. It is going to be settled by women who voted for Bush in '04 and '00, and are intrigued by the optimism and promise to fix what has been wrong in Washington for so long that Obama talks about. My mother is one of these voters (and she has liked McCain for a long time, and liked him better than the other Republican Candidates). Ijust do not see any of the "Club for Growth" slate doing that.

Also, when you say that nominating a sitting Republican Governor is "affirmative action", thats an insult that implies that she didn't earn the position, but was awarded it due to her gender.

It isn't an insult at all, it just means that someone who has been governor of a sparsely populated state for less than two years probably isn't ready to be vice president (or president if something happened). To say that she is ready, I think would be affirmative action.

make sense, unless you are advocating for governors from populous states with multiple terms as a preference: Pataki, Ridge, Jeb Bush (Of course Arnold doesn't qualify). So, are you advocating these guys, or is there something else at work?

3) Sanford. I live in MN and don't necessarily dislike Pawlenty, just have never been overly impressed with him from a leadership/personality side of things. I also think Palin is a rising star. In fact, somewhere in our future I would love to see a Jindal/Palin ticket after they get some seasoning. (I knew there would be things we could agree on :-)

Also, cdm, not to threadjack but as long as I'm here, wen't back and reread my post to you re: voting for McCain and just wanted to clarify that I was agreeing with you that the comments about McCain being imposed on us by elites flying above us at 35,000 ft. was out of bounds and not supported by facts. Wasn't sure if that came through so just wanted to clarify.

"All that need be done for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing."

but I appreciate the effort to reach out to me, and I am glad that you agree with me on that point. I know as Republicans we do not need to see eye to eye on every issue, but that on most we can find common cause;) And even if we disagree, I respect your right to your opinion.

In regards to the VP spot: Coburn is a good conservative, and is comfortable working across the aisle (ironically, with Obama). He is definitly against earmarks, but I am not sure how he helps us in the general in potential swing states(possibly MO, LA, AR?).

I think Barbour definitly helps in the above states, as well as TN. He can also talk about pocketbook, kitchen table issues in a way that I am not sure Coburn can. And I feel that has to be a prerequisite for the ticket. I like Barbour as a possibility,

I discussed Sanford below, and I think the truth is that if we can't win SC with or without Sanford we are doomed, and I am not sure what else he would add to the ticket besides SC and conservative. I am not sure about the pocketbook, kitchen table thing either. Thats why I like Barbour best of these three candidates.

In regards to Palin and experience - Obama doesn't have much more experience than Palin or Steele, and he might win the whole thing!

I think we need someone who is conservative who can reach out to families and talk their talk. Ultimately, I think this election will swing on the family economic issues, and I don't see too many men being able to talk to women about their anxieties in regards to jobs, raising kids, or paying the bills.

eburke by cdm

Since you are in a region that we definitely need to target, I am interested in what type of nominee will do well relating to middle class women who work, have kids, a lot of bills, and are worried about their kids future?

Bush was able to get enough of these away from Gore in swing states because they felt like they knew who he was, and was comfortable in his own skin. Then, the economy was rosy, and their houses were worth more than they owed.

McCain connects on a lot of levels to the general electorate, but relating on the kitchen table stuff is an area the partner on the ticket could help with. Who besides Barbour would you pick, or is on your radar, and how would they do with the women you know?

I lean on Mrs. Burke a lot for those things 'cause she's quasi-involved but not a policy wonk like moi. I know she thought Romney would be a good counter-balance to Obama's looks and charm but I just don't think that's in the cards.

Like you, I like Barbour because he's got that 'folksy' thing going and, although some may disagree, I think McCain would be wise to understand on just how thin of ice he's on with many conservative/very conservative GOPers, and Barbour would help not just to bring them to the table, but, more importantly, bring their enthusiasm.

I truly don't think Pawlenty is the answer either personality wise or policy wise. So...let me give it some thought.

And, btw, thanks for your kind words and your willingness to focus on what unites us rather than what divides us. I may disagree with people's POV on here, but rarely do I believe that they are not well-intentioned. Thanks for the reciprocation.

"All that need be done for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing."

Why would Tom Ridge be terrible choice? He may swing Penn to us because he was very popular in suburbs?

Can any VP nominee without national security bona fides NOT be Quaylized?

If McCain wants to run a campaign focused on national security, the regional governor stuff doesn't cut it. And his statement Friday about a VP being able to take over suggests he gets it.

Look for a VP who is fluent on foreign policy issues.

R.O. asks if any such nominee can avoid being "Quaylized" by the media. And the answer of course is a resounding "YES!" provided that said nominee is an acceptably liberal Democrat. Like John Edwards, for example, whose national security bona fides ranked right up there with all the other tens of thousands of personal-injury trial lawyers floating around this country.

Republicans, of course-- and Conservative Republicans most of all-- will be held to a more exacting standard.

Hey, nobody said it was going to be fair.

Pawlenty would be a decent pick, but the ticket already has its moderate credentials. What the ticket needs is a solid movement conservative on the ticket. A rock-ribbed conservative VP pick would be a huge olive branch to the conservative base of the Republican Party. My first pick would be Governor Sanford.

Also, something screams "Dan Quayle" about Pawlenty. The more I see him, the more uncomfortable I am that he could seriously take the reigns as President of the United States. He appears boyish, and not yet ready for the big-leagues.

This VP pick is more important than others in the past because of McCain's age, and his rocky relationship with the conservative base. I think Sanford would be a home run, Pawlenty would just be for the specific purpose of peeling off a state.

Pawlenty strikes me as a very decent sort of fellow who goes over well enough for Minnesota, just as George Pataki went over well enough for New York, Rick Perry goes over well enough for Texas, and Sonny Perdue goes over well enough for Georgia. But in all three instances, I just don't get the sense that they would be solid on a national ticket.

I believe strongly that either Governor Sanford of South Carolina, or Chris Cox of the Sec./Exch. Commission, would be-- by far-- the best 2 possible choices for McCain's VP.

I like his fiscal policies. I also like the editorial he wrote in regards to Obama. I thought it was appropriate with out being syrupy.

However, how do you justify being against preserving Underground Railroad sites, and how does that play in the general?

Also, he didn't vote in his own re-election (he was registered in Columbia, but showed up in his home district). Not exactly the hallmark of a detail oriented guy.

Why? Why? Why?

Yes, why are Republicans now attacking Pawlenty. Its disgusting!

McCain will need a young, vibrant, Conservative, who has been tried and tested, and perhaps he can bring Minn along ( I doubt it).

I actually would love to see him on list and he has the perfect picture image of a wonderful family and young kids.

It makes perfect sense that you would like Pawlenty. They are wrong in almost precisely the same ways. Which is why Pawlenty would be an abysmal pick for someone who already has to be concerned if he can get enough of his base to vote for him to win regularly red states.
Republican moderates, or Republican conservatives that act like moderates in a presidential election go down in flames. Pawlenty was a pretty decent governor in his first term, but so far in his second term, Republicans wish they hadn't voted for him. Rather than deliver MN, I thikn Pawlenty as VP choice would probably make MN a loss in a year it could be a win.
Minnesota politics is hard to understand to an outsider. We had Jesse Ventura, we had the string of corrupt governors before that, at one time we had the most conservative and the most liberal Senators in the nation serving at the same time. We elected a man with history of mental issues to the Senate, and most recently elected Amy Klobuchar simply because she was a woman and it seemed like a good idea at the time.

Given the fact he has 55% approval rating and was re-elected in horrible year for GOP in that state I'd say he is wonderful plus he has a great image

McCain will need a young image for his VP and someone from a battleground state

Is Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman. He would add nothing to the ticket, but if the job is looking for an experienced, popular, pro-life, conservative Governor, then Dave's your man.

Pawlenty is on the Global Warming Bandwagon. As a conservative he does NOTHING to make me feel better about voting for McCain.

"Where I stand does not depend on where I'm standing." Fred D. Thompson

Fred was the only guy who didn't raise his hand at that debate. McCain and Huckabee both support carbon caps. W has now adopted the "AGW is a problem" line but hasn't gone that far (yet). This is looking inevitable at this point. Whoever McCain picks as VP will mirror his stance on GW (and everything else) anyway. VPs don't go out on their own and stake out their own policy positions that conflict with the President's positions.
Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself. - Milton Friedman

Sanford, Jindal & Barbour are all excellent candidates. That's why we should put their talents to use elsewhere.

Pawlenty would deliver MN. Remember that those rubes voted for Mondale in '84, just because he was a local boy.

OTOH we might be looking at this in entirely the wrong way. We don't have to find a JFK/LBJ style ticket.

Back in '00 Cheney only "delivered" WY. The man had no political future on his own. Mostly because his personality was dull as dirt. Yet he soothed concerns about Bush's lack of experience on foreign affairs. His intellect was sharp as a tack & he was an outstanding lightning rod for the left.

Cox might be another Cheney-style VP. Extremely smart on economics, an area where McCain has admitted weakness. Cox might also be willing to settle for a VP slot. His career is (unfortunately) at a dead-end in the House. As a Californian, he'll probably never have a shot at being elected Senator or Governor. Cox might become a national figure as VP.

And hey, he's even from MN!

Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself. - Milton Friedman

Err, sorry. Meant to say his POLITICAL career WAS at a dead end.

Pawlenty would necessarily carry it. He won by a razor thin margin in '06 (which, admittedly, was a very Democrat year), he's not despised in the state but he is also could not be described as beloved, and I'm not sure he brings that much to the ticket. Those in MN who are attracted to McCain's moderate policies and independence will vote for the ticket anyway, and Pawlenty won't 'fire up the base', either in policy or personality.

Just my view from tundra land.

"All that need be done for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing."

Instead of diversifying the ticket or picking on geogrpahic grounds, McCain could decide to "double up" on experience and security an nominate someone like Pace. It worked for Clinton when he needed to lock up th South when it was turning Red. It helped Bush add some experience

A McCain/Pace ticket would make Obama/Hillary or whoever look like immature neophytes by comparison. Obama would get the swoon, but over the course of ten months, McCain could just weigh him down with gravitas. The boys versus the men.

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