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Gov. Tim Pawlenty: Ready or not to be John McCain's vice presidential pick?

May 13, 2008 |  3:50 pm

Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty went fishing a few days ago and, in the process, raised at least some question about whether he's ready for the national prime time that some have been predicting could await him.

He may be an unknown to most folks outside his home state, but Pawlenty has figured prominently in Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty has been prominently mentioned as a possible running mate for presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain the increasing speculation about running mates for presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain. On Sunday, in fact, he earned the No. 1 ranking from the Washington Post's Chris Cillizza and Shailagh Murray in their list of the five "most logical veeps" for each party's ticket.

The governor, they wrote, "best fits what McCain wants and needs in a VP. Pawlenty has been elected twice in a Democratic-leaning state that is almost certain to be a battleground in the fall. He is liked and respected by both conservatives and moderates, and he gets rave reviews for his political instincts. He has also known McCain for nearly three decades and, at 47, could allay some concerns about McCain's age."

Who he beat out for the top spot (and who made the Democratic list) can be read here. But little did the Post journalists know that on Friday, on the eve of an annual angling event at Big Pelican Lake in Breezy Point, Minn., Pawlenty had provided this sound bite to a Minneapolis radio show:

"I have a wife who genuinely loves to fish. I mean, she will take the lead and ask me to go out fishing, and joyfully comes here. She loves football, she'll go to hockey games and, I jokingly say, 'Now, if I could only get her to have sex with me.'"

His radio host howls but, as can be ...



heard on this tape, a chagrined Mary Pawlenty, Minnesota's first lady, chimes in, "I'm soooo sorry. My apologies for my husband."

And the governor adds: "It's a joke, it's a joke."

Should McCain tap him on the shoulder, Pawlenty might be well-advised to let aides crank out the quips.

On the lake on Saturday, by the way, he reeled in a 17-inch walleye while his wife got shut out.

-- Don Frederick

Photo credit: Associated Press