The New York Times says that Romney has made his vice presidential choice and could introduce his VP this week. And the Times speculates that his pick is Tim Pawlenty.
The benefit of Mitt Romney introducing his vice presidential pick this week is obvious: It could take some of the heat off of President Obama's Bain attacks. The problem is, this is a move you get to play only once. (Or at least, you only want to play this move once; if you have to do it twice, you're probably sunk.) It's one of the biggest weapons in a presidential campaign's arsenal; it instantly changes the narrative and all but guarantees your campaign a few days of positive (or at least neutral) media coverage.
As to Pawlenty as Romney's VP: It's a decent, safe choice. He wouldn't outshine Romney, which is a characteristic with its pluses and minuses. He's certainly not a loose cannon. He's evangelical, which is a base that Romney needs. He bores the shit out of reporters, which means there's not going to be an earth-shattering scandal. He doesn't have any foreign policy experience, but conservatives will like his record as Minnesota governor—although some of them are pissed as hell that he dared to raise a few small taxes while in office. It's unclear if he has any crossover appeal with Democrats or independents. I think he's basically a wash as far as the ticket goes—not really any kind of help on the electoral map, but a supportive VP candidate who shouldn't embarrass anyone. If the Times is right, we'll find out how this plays soon enough.
Get the best of the Mercury each week in your inbox!