Maybe John McCain “has not spent one second thinking about a running mate,” as one adviser insists, but when he does, many observers expect his attention to turn to Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty. “He’s a conservative, rock-n-roll Republican and is counterintuitive to the party stereotype,” gushed one political hand. He also remained loyal even when McCain looked finished.
Pawlenty is a moderate presiding over a blue state, but he’s trended more conservative as his national ambitions have grown, Politico notes. “He’s a rising star in the party,” said one McCain adviser. His addition might not turn Minnesota red but could put it up for grabs. He’s also 47, no small advantage for a 71-year-old candidate.