Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R-MN)
- Tim Pawlenty has been hitting the campaign trail for presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney for over a year now, constantly fuelling speculation that he’ll be Romney’s choice for the GOP Vice Presidential slot.
- Tim Pawlenty came to prominence in his party as the governor of Minnesota (2003-2011). He left the governorship admired by many Republicans for putting conservative fiscal policies in place and balancing Minnesota’s budget. Pawlenty ran against Mitt Romney for the Republican nomination for President, but quit the campaign after losing the Iowa straw poll in August of 2011. He endorsed his former rival the next month.
- This week, Michael Leahy wrote in the Washington Post that Pawlenty was “the hardest-working Romney surrogate among all the vice presidential hopefuls” perhaps because, when it comes to the Republican nomination for Vice President, “The stakes this year are greater for Pawlenty than anyone else on the short list.”
Roundtable: Maddow, Todd, Keating, Balz
- In Rachel Maddow’s latest show, she examined whether Mitt Romney was pivoting from focusing on the economy to emphasizing cultural issues – and whether it would hurt the campaign in the end. She also included some Olympic coverage, as Meet the Press will on Sunday, and saluted Team USA’s women’s soccer victories. Keep up with the Rachel Maddow show here.
- Chuck Todd, NBC’s Political Director and Chief White House Correspondent, had an exclusive interview with Mitt Romney this week. The NBC Political Unit wrote in First Read on Friday that the campaign is no longer an even race and “ There’s clearly movement toward the president and clearly problems for Romney personally” who “continues to have an image problem.” This, First Read noted, “raises the stakes for Romney’s VP pick and convention.”
- Frank Keating is the President and CEO of the American Bankers Association, and former two-term governor of Oklahoma. In his first term as Governor, Keating earned praise for his handling of the tragic Oklahoma City bombing in 1995. Keating also has experience with VP vetting – he was on President George Bush’s shortlist in 2000, eventually losing to Dick Cheney. Last month he told GQ, “"To make people go through that kind of labor—and you're not even pregnant—was no fun."
- Washington Post Chief Correspondent Dan Balz looked ahead to an important August for Mitt Romney in his regular column The Take this week, writing: “The best that can be said about how Mitt Romney fared in July is that he survived.”
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