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Tim Pawlenty keeps giving us more info than we might want

The buzz surrounding Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty has risen to bee-hive levels, with two recent articles offering in-depth looks at the positives and negatives he would offer as John McCain's running mate. And if Pawlenty does end up the pick, it will be interesting to see if he continues his habit of cracking jokes about his wife.

Pawlenty, the product of a blue-collar upbringing who has thrived in a state that McCain would love to snatchGov. Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota has been prominently mentioned as a potential running mate with presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain from the Democratic column, is known -- as was noted in this Washington Post story on his political pluses and minuses -- for urging the Republican Party to identify itself with "Sam's Club, not just the country club."

Indeed, a lengthy and very readable New Republic profile of him includes a scene of Pawlenty, with writer Noam Scheiber in tow, hanging out with regulars at a bar adjoining an American Legion Hall. (The story also points out that if he is tapped for the veep spot, "Pawlenty will be the first presidential running mate to have worn a mullet into middle age.")

Before this recent burst of publicity, Pawlenty earned some attention in early May with this quip on 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. ... 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.' "

He quickly clarified that he was joking, even as his wife could be heard kvetching in the background.

Pawlenty couldn't resist another spousal reference during an appearance last week on CNN.

Wolf Blitzer, discussing the speculation over McCain's vice presidential prospects, told the governor: "You're on the short list. That's what everyone says."

Replied Pawlenty: "Well, my wife says I'm on a different kind of list."

He did not specify what list that might be. And perhaps he's learning to curb his tongue. During a follow-up CNN appearance Sunday with Blitzer, Pawlenty made no mention of his domestic tranquility.

-- Don Frederick

Photo credit: Associated Press

Comments () | Archives (6)

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Pawlenty has never gotten more than 45% of the vote in Minnesota...and unless that 45% is a different 45% that would support McCain...he's not going to be much help.

Oh come on, lighten up .

Tim Pawlenty does not have that much support in Minnesota, my home state. He was nearly beat last election by Mike Hatch. Also, he's known as a bit of an empty suit, who most annoyingly, kept refering to Minnesota state employees health coverage as "Cadillac Health coverage" when he took the big red pen to it and smashed their health care to bits. Not something that will sit well with the majority of Americans if he is picked as the VP.

Umm, Toby, being wrong is one thing, being wrong on a specific fact that you didn't need to even bring up just makes you look like an idiot.

Pawlenty got 47% of the vote (rounded up) in 2006.

However, you are correct in saying that he would not necessarily put MN in McCain's column.

Pawlenty is not a political heavy-weight even in his own backyard. He had no coat-tails in a resounding defeat of Republicans at every level of government in Minnesota.

As the earlier commentor stated Pawlenty has never garnered more than 45% of the vote and his last couple of years have been a fiasco in state administration -- collapsing bridges and road infrastructure, a declining economy and bad administrative leadership. His attitude, ("You're doing a great job Brownie") toward the blatant incompetence from his Lt. Governor who also served as Transportation Secretary so mimics the incompetence of George Bush as President, it could only help the Democratic ticket to see another negative and incompetent political leader that the GOP stage next to McCain.

Pawlenty has been a fabulous governor here in Minnesota. He would make a terrific Vice President as well.


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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