The vice presidential two-step

dance_steps.jpgIf we were to say we’re surprised that Gov. Pawlenty now says he’s open to being the vice president of the United States, we would have to pretend this is our first day covering politics for a living, that we don’t know what political flirting looks like, and that we didn’t know the steps to the dance.

1-2-3-1-2-3 … promenade.

“I’m committed to being governor of the state of Minnesota. That’s why I ran. I love it here. I don’t have a big goal or ambition to go be Washington. I’ve got young kids. I’ve got a lot of work to do and great opportunities for public service right here in Minnesota.” Pawlenty said.

“But if one of the presidential candidates were to ask you to be a running mate, would you accept?” host Gary Eichten asked.

“I said I would serve out my term as governor if I was re-elected. And that’s what I intend to do,” Pawlenty said.

1-2-3-1-2-3, step to the side:

“People always assign motives and labels, and half of the stuff is unfounded,” said Pawlenty. “There are a lot of commentators and writers and people who speculate about this, but it’s simply and clearly only that I want Senator McCain to be president. I don’t need or want anything else other than that, and there’s no agenda other than that.” said Pawlenty.

1-2-3-1-2-3 ,


“For the 900th time, I am not running for Vice President. I don’t want to be Vice President and I’m focused on being governor of the state of Minnesota and have said I will fill out my term.”

1-2-3-1-2-3 …. change partners.

“I want to help him become the president, because I think he’d be a great president,” Pawlenty said. “I don’t have any designs on being vice president. If somebody came to me and said that, of course I would be honored to be mentioned, honored to be asked, and it would be difficult to turn that down, but I don’t have any designs, and it’s not why I’m such a great and strong supporter of Senator McCain.”

And… bow.

It’s not as if he signed some sort of pledge.

(Update 5:20 p.m. Mon 6/9) Listen to All Things Considered host Tom Crann’s interview with Bob Collins)

  • mrw

    He’s willing to break a pledge, and his recent comments on being John McCain’s vice president show he’s willing to break his word. It’s not surprising, but it is disappointing, and I hope Minnesotans recognize that their governor is willing to mislead them in order to win their votes, as Tim Pawlenty did with his promises to stay in the governor’s office for four years — promises he is now trying to walk back, as if we’ll simply forget that he pledged his devotion to our state.

  • Momkat

    But but but, he held to his “no new taxes” pledge didn’t he? Fees are entirely another thing.

  • John K
  • brian

    No matter how much he wanted Pawlenty, he’d still need to know his options. Hence the search team.

  • bsimon

    This story is much ado about nothing. What else was Pawlenty supposed to say? “Yes, I want the Vice Presidency?” That’s a guaranteed method of not being selected. Anyone that watched the Fox interview yesterday saw Warner play the same game (though his term expires). I imagine there are interviews with Sebelius & Napolitano (Dem Govs people think might be on the short list) that have similar noncommital answers.

  • Bob Collins

    //This story is much ado about nothing. What else was Pawlenty supposed to say?

    The story IS about the “game” (or dance as I like to say). Everyone KNEW Pawlenty was chasing the VP gig. It’s a good reminder that you can’t believe the WORDS that a politician says, you have to believe the ACTIONS.

    By the way, those aren’t noncommittal answers. When a guy says he’s going to finish out his term, that’s a promise where I come from.

  • nikki

    If I were McCain, I would chose Pawlenty- Every president wants a scape goat- Pawlenty is a living, breathing puppet. With any luck, McCain will lose and Pawlenty’s 1-2 cha cha cha will not go un-noticed by Minnesotans

  • Bob Collins

    You know, if McCain wins in that scenario, it’s Gov. Carol Molnau.

  • woolyheadedliberal

    that’s very FUNNY-NIKKI.

    now that we are on the topic of actions vs words and our govena’ i would also like to interject an observation i have made about republicans in general as i was submerged in a fairly right wing crowd recently. gop voters like to have and they like their wealth and unfortunately they seem to place their own self worth placed on what they do for a living, how much they make and what they have and who they know. anytime their wealth, or their self value is in jeopardy they get very upset. i guess i would be too if i thought my true self is what i have, who i know and how i earn my living

  • bsimon

    “those aren’t noncommittal answers. When a guy says he’s going to finish out his term, that’s a promise where I come from.”

    But didn’t he say “I plan to finish my term” rather than “I promiste to finish my term”? It seems like the former is actually “I plan to finish my term unless I’m asked to be Vice President.”

  • Daveg

    Dear Wooly Head:

    If I send you my address, will you please send me all of your wealth? My self-worth depends on it. Oh, and could you FedEx it please? Faster is better.


    A Typical GOP Voter

  • c

    not to worry dave I know a good therapist for you and just repeat, “Who I am has nothing to do with how I pay my bills, who I know, and the material goods I can consume”

  • Joel

    “You know, if McCain wins in that scenario, it’s Gov. Carol Molnau.”

    If that happened, the Democrats would be a shoe-in for the next governor of MN.

  • c

    I think VP candidate above step #4 looks like a good dance partner (and fun to boot)

  • mrw

    bsimon: Pawlenty said “I will serve out my term.” He also said “I am committed to serving out my term as governor. That’s what I am going to do.”

    Those sound like promises to me.

  • NormH

    So is that the line of succession if Pawlenty is elected VP? Will Carol Molnau serve out the rest of the term, or is there a special election?

    It would be great if MPR did a comparison of Molnau’s views on the major issues facing Minnesota versus Pawlenty. Perhaps you already have.