The Herd is a special White House 2012 series covering the obvious and not so obvious names that Mitt Romney may consider for Vice President. Each day, White House 2012 will introduce you to one of the many Republicans which we believe that will at least be considered for the vice presidency by the now inevitable presidential nominee, Mitt Romney.
In addition to biographical information and a brief assessment of each potential nominee and their chances of being selected by Romney, White House 2012′s coverage also includes each potential nominee’s voting records, as well as a listing of their public statements and links to their web sites.
Today White House 2012 offers a look at former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty.
Born: November 27, 1960,St. Paul, Minnesota
Spouse(s): Mary Pawlenty
Children :Anna, Mara
Residence :Eagan, Minnesota
Alma mater: University of Minnesota (B.A.), University of Minnesota Law School (J.D.)
Political Career :
- Appointed to the the Eagan city’s Planning Commission by then Mayor Vic Ellison
- Elected to a term on the City Council
- Campaign advisor for Jon Grunseth’s 1990 losing bid for Minnesota governor
- 1992; Pawlenty was elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives and was re-elected to that seat five times
- 1988; Pawlenty was elected House Majority Leader when the Republicans became the majority party in the State Legislature
- 2002; Pawlenty campaigned and won on a pledge not to raise taxes to balance the state’s budget deficit, requiring visa expiration dates on driver’s licenses, a 24-hour waiting period on abortions, implementing a conceal-carry gun law, and changing the state’s education requirements. Pawlenty defeated 2 challengers in the GOP primary and eventually his opponents in the general election.
- 2006; Pawlenty was reelected Governor of a margin of little more than 1%. This victory was despite DFL gains in both the state House and State Senate and a big gains for Democrats nationally.
- Pawlenty could possibly make Minnesota more competetive for Romney than it currently is and without Minnesota in Obama’s column, it could be hard for Democrats to make up for that loss in the electoral college from another state
- Pawlenty is a competent speaker
- Pawlenty is a safe choice who has been somewhat vetted
- His candidacy would not lead to any distractions from the issues or overshadow Mitt Romney
- Pawlenty does not fire up the base which Romney needs to energize
There is no reason why Tim Pawlenty can’t be on the ticket. However; Pawlenty became one of the first people to declare their candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination and he became the first to withdraw from the race for the Republican presidential nomination. And the same reasons which led to his withdrawal from the race may be the same reasons he is not nominated for the vice presidential nomination. Another reason he may not be on the ticket is because he has stated that he is taking himself off the list of candidates for Romney to consider for Vice President, and that he doesn’t even want to consider the position. Still, that doesn’t mean he is not being considered for the job or that he will reconsider his earlier stated thoughts.
Pawlenty campaigned long and hard. His campaign team was top notch and his campaign was initially financed fairly well and he did just about everything right. He had a good message, well done ads, and a good strategy. The only problem seemed to be the messenger. Tim Pawlenty seemed to be the kid in the classroom who always had his hand up while howling “ooh, ooh” but failed to interest anyone in what he had to say. So one day after the Ames Straw poll in Iowa, he dropped out of the race.
Despite those circumstances, Pawlenty is a top quality conservative leader with a great record on social and economic issues and he is an extraordinarily competent executive. Such qualities make Pawlenty a top contender for the vice presidential nomination, at least on paper. He is certainly not the type of running mate that any presidential nominee has to fear being overshadowed by. All this means that Mitt Romney could easily tap Pawlenty for Vice President. He comes from a state that the G.O.P. could use help with and which if they could win, would leave the Obama-Biden ticket in deep trouble. He also appeals to many Midwest voters and lacks much of the luggage that other potential running mates have.
But Romney may want and need a running mate who excites at least one demographic group far more than T-Paw does. Given that fact, even though Pawlenty is a safe choice and Romney likes playing it safe, there are several other potential running mates who are equally as safe as Pawlenty but bring a touch more excitement to the ticket than he does.
Pawlenty on The Issues
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