Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty just might be our next Vice President! If McCain pulls this thing off. Which would be, wow. Pawlenty holds all the advantages as a running mate of a Charlie Crist—young, inoffensive, kinda popular, governor of a potential swing state—without the "probably gay" thing. He's just possibly gay. Now let's lay out the problems!
The GOP hasn't won Minnesota in a long, long time. Minnesota is, in fact, the only state in the entire US to not go for Reagan either time. The last time the state went Republican was in 1972—before that, 1956. So if the Republicans want to recreate that Eisenhower magic, they could do worse than to pick a Minnesota politician.
But Pawlenty is not actually particularly loved in Minnesota. He has a 54% approval rating, which is great, but Crist is at 60% with Florida Democrats. He won the governorship twice, but couldn't manage to get a majority of votes either time. Also he made a bridge fall down!
Pawlenty vetoed transportation funding bills and ignored reports that massive infrastructure repairs were needed. Then the part of I-35W that goes over the Mississippi river just sort of fell down, right in the middle of the day. A Minnesota legislative report recently indicated that a lack of Minnesota's Department of Transportation may have contributed to a lack of maintenance at that bridge, but Pawlenty insists that bridges just fall over sometimes for no reason. More importantly, he's rushed to complete the new bridge, months faster than he should, so that it will be finished in time for the GOP National Convention, which will be held in St. Paul.
Perhaps most importantly, Pawlenty would be the very first American Vice President to have attended school with a member of Husker Du, but drummer Grant Hart probably won't endorse him: "'I knew the guy for years,' Hart once told columnist Jim Walsh, 'and it's still like he's a cipher. He's Chauncey Gardener'-the idiot philosopher in the comic novel and film Being There-'with a lot less Zen.'"