I continue to believe that the best vice-presidential choice Barack Obama could make would be for John McCain to chose Mitt Romney. (Reasons here).
I’m not a fan of Tim Pawlenty by any means and paricularly find his views on the role of government troubling. I’d much rather have an actual conservative as VP — somebody along the lines of Tom Coburn, Mark Sanford, or Paul Ryan. So by no means am I endorsing Pawlenty for VP. However, if I were to take off my conservative hat and put on my political analyst hat, Pawlenty definitely appears to be the safest pick on the reported short list. Like Romney, he has gubernatorial experience, but he doesn’t have the flip flop problems or high negative ratings. Pawlenty has more appeal among two constituencies that will be key to a McCain victory — evangelicals and blue-collar workers. With Democrats poised to run a campaign portraying Republicans as out of touch (see yesterday’s houses debate), it makes more political sense to tap Pawlenty, who grew up as the son of a milk driver, to blunt such attacks rather than nominate another really rich dude who will only add fuel to the fire. Furthermore, Pawlenty was a McCain supporter from the beginning, while Democrats would have access to reams of video of Romney ripping apart McCain, including on the fact that he doesn’t understand economics. What is Romney’s response going to be? That he changed his mind? Yeah, that’ll be helpful.
Unfortunately, whether it’s Romney or Pawlenty, either way, Republicans end up with somebody who supports big government health care (only in Romney’s case he calls it “market-based” because within a system in which government designed plans are sold at a government store and purchased by individuals under government mandates and with government subsidies, there’s a role for private companies).
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