Pawlenty's Non-Denial

Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty demurred when asked about serving as John McCain's running mate. Or did he? From the Associated Press: "I'm focused on ...
by | May 19, 2008
 

Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty demurred when asked about serving as John McCain's running mate. Or did he? From the Associated Press:

"I'm focused on being governor in the state of Minnesota. I have a day job," Pawlenty said at a news conference before giving the keynote speech at the Wisconsin Republican convention.

"I'm happy to support Senator John McCain as a volunteer. I think he's a great American. I think he's somebody who will be a great leader for our country. He's one of the most courageous, most bold politicians I've had a chance to be associated with.

"I'm happy to support him. I don't have any motivations or designs beyond that."

Note how he didn't say that he won't take the job if asked (any good answer to the running mate question almost forces the writer describing it to use a double negative), but also never said that he wants it. He turned the question into an opportunity to praise McCain and to emphasize that his focus is on being governor. He hit all of the important notes, while simultaneously saying nothing at all.

Clearly, Pawlenty has mastered being a potential vice-presidential candidate, which, I suppose, speaks well of his ability to master being an actual vice-presidential candidate. 

Josh Goodman
Josh Goodman  |  Former Staff Writer
mailbox@governing.com

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