July 23rd, 2008
08:09 AM ET

Reading the McCain VP tea leaves

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/07/22/art.pawlenty.jpg caption="Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty visits the Minnesota campaign headquarters of Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain in St. Paul, Minn., July 10."]
Dana Bash
CNN Political Correspondent

It's VP tea leaf reading season, and a Republican source who attended a small private meeting with John McCain, Tuesday, in New Hampshire tells CNN that the Republican candidate dropped a serious hint about Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty.

The GOP source said "out of the blue" McCain told the gathering that he thinks they are "really going to like" Pawlenty.

Coincidently a McCain aide says Gov. Pawlenty was at McCain headquarters in northern Virginia today. He was apparently in town already for another meeting.

This GOP source noted that McCain also said nice things about Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee and Rudy Giuliani, but those appeared to be standard lines he says about former rivals.

This source said McCain may have been talking about Pawlenty because the meeting was with New Hampshire GOP delegates, and the Republican convention is in Pawlenty's state.

But this source said McCain's praise was effusive, and noteworthy because it appeared to come "totally out of left field."

Pawlenty is a long time supporter of McCain's. He's from a swing state with considerable support across the Republican party, including evangelicals, and has always been thought by Republican strategists to be on McCain's short list.

Filed under: Dana Bash • John McCain • Raw Politics
soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. Kanaka Hawaii

    Pawlenty seems like a reasonably good choice for VP. Unfortunately, McCain has yet to exhibt good choices for advisors or sound reasoning in most of his rhetoric. Given his erratic and confused state of mind lately, this choice, like many other sensible choices he could have made, will probably not happen.

    July 23, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  2. Marc

    I have never heard of Pawlenty. I just hope he can get the McCain campaign back on track talking issues and not just the surge McCain is obviously so proud of. And please, please get McCain to stop whining about the media, Obama and everyone else...it is getting on people's nerves. I don't want 4 years of whining everytime he doesn't get what he wants...

    July 23, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  3. Dan Lacey

    McCain likes Pawlenty/McCain does whatever he likes/Pawlenty will be McCain's pick for VP. It's that simple.

    Actually, Pawlenty is a grand choice. Pawlenty is social conservative, budget balancer, tax cutter. He may not be able to deliver MN, but he'll influence the entire midwest which is where the election is up for grabs.

    A cartoon-
    Good it's Pawlenty

    July 23, 2008 at 1:25 pm |
  4. mark hoffman, Phoenix AZ.

    McSame has more to lose with an early announcement of his VP pick because of the extra scrutiny that individual will receive because of the real possibility that McSame might not make it through his first term with his history of health problems.

    July 23, 2008 at 1:17 pm |
  5. Pam M -London Ontario Canada

    I think that it is time for both candidates to make a decision and let the people know who their running mates are. This is a person who is going to be working closely with the President and must take over if something happens to the commander-in-chief. The people have a right to know before they can make a decision. It also gives the voters a chance to see the candidates campaigning with them and seeing how they work together. Barack and John, get off the pot, and let the American people know.

    July 23, 2008 at 12:54 pm |
  6. deborah, OH

    This is interesting information, Dana. Thank you for the posting.
    The VP selection for both sides should be a wonderful 'circus' to watch. Sorry. just had to say that. lol.

    July 23, 2008 at 9:32 am |
  7. Sandra Z. Zellick, Ph.D.

    I enjoyed your program on the biographies of the two candidates. However, you happily mentioned Barack Obama's cocaine use as a young man while conspicuously omitting any mention of John McCain's first wife. I was disappointed at the bias.

    July 23, 2008 at 9:22 am |
  8. Annie Kate

    I had never heard of Pawlenty before he was on the list for possible VEEP choices for McCain. He appears to have the sort of traits McCain was looking for to balance his ticket but there isn't much name recognition. At McCain's age he will need to show whoever his choice of VEEP is how qualified the VEEP is to be President too just in case....

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    July 23, 2008 at 8:41 am |
  9. Cindy

    I don't think McCain would tell anything about who he is choosing as his VP right now. It is just too soon. Why would he?

    And I have to say that I have never even heard of Pawlenty so if he picks him then he will have a long row to hoe to get people to know and like him. I think Romney is a better pick myself seeing as he has already been out there in the spot light and people know more about him. Plus his stance on the issues will help McCain with the parts of his party that aren't too thrilled with McCain as the nominee.


    July 23, 2008 at 8:19 am |

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