As you know, politicians love the Minnesota State Fair. Former Sen. Fred Thompson (R-TN) was making the rounds with GOP House Minority Leader Marty Seifert today (see above). Thompson was working the rounds, getting some coverage and shaking hands.
Here’s where the politickin’ got interesting.
I was recording Seifert and Thompson with my shotgun mic as they walked from the Hotdog vendor to the WCCO Radio booth. Seifert told Thompson that he’ll put his political machine behind a Thompson candidacy. No surprise there. Seifert then asked Thompson if he had any questions about Minnesota. Thompson said no but mentioned that Gov. Pawlenty was backing Arizona Senator John McCain (Pawlenty is co-chair to McCain’s presidential committee).
Seifert then told Thompson “I’m going to try to work on him (Pawlenty) for you. I’m the next one down on the state level so I’m happy to put my machinery behind you. McCain isn’t doing real well. Romney has been courting him (Pawlenty) so I’m trying to keep him at bay.”
That’s former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. So even though Pawlenty has not distanced himself from McCain (who has not caught on with conservatives), it appears that the national candidates are lobbying Pawlenty to back another horse once McCain is out. The Romney news shouldn’t come as too big of a surprise. Former MN Rep. Vin Weber is on Romney’s campaign. Politico also quoted Pawlenty saying some kind words about Romney.
I asked Seifert later about his comments. He said “I’d Like him (Thompson) to be a second choice for Governor Pawlenty. We know how things go. If Senator McCain makes it through then God bless him. If he ends up falling by the wayside then I’d like Governor Pawlenty to consider him.”