Mitt Romney has reached a decision on who will join him on the GOP ticket as his running mate and may announce it this week, the New York Times reported.
As Slate reports, former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty was the target of a profile today in the New York Times, which reported that friends believe Romney has already settled on his choice.
Pawlenty, 51, whose evangelical Christian faith could help the Republican ticket, could stir up some excitement for the Republican candidate.
“Tim Pawlenty is an evangelical, and evangelicals like other evangelicals,” said Pawlenty’s longtime pastor, Leith Anderson, who is also president of the National Association of Evangelicals.
Pawlenty also won an early poll of evangelical Christian leaders, a constituency Romney has had difficulty winning over, he told the Times.
And Ray Washburne, a Dallas businessman, told the paper: “He’s not elite in any sense of the word.”
“An appealing counterbalance to Romney being a son of a wealthy man and going to elite schools is Pawlenty being the son of a truck driver who went to the University of Minnesota,” Washburne said.
Romney and Pawlenty have reportedly forged a good relationship since they met as rivals in Pawlenty's earlier run for the top spot.
It was in fact Pawlenty who coined the term "Obamneycare,” suggesting that few differences existed between the health care plans of Romney and Obama.
Former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty.
Pawlenty's Times profile comes only days after the Boston Globe reported Romney remained atop Bain for three years longer than he has claimed, a story that has sparked debate about whether he actually left Bain Capital before some of the company’s investments engaged in layoffs or bankruptcies.
So strategically, announcing his VP pick this week would give Romney a chance to change the current media narrative to his advantage.
The window of opportunity for Romney to announce his running mate ahead of the Republican National Convention, which starts in Tampa Bay on August 27, is narrowing: Romney is traveling to London to attend the opening ceremony of the Olympics in just 11 days. After that, he is stopping in Israel to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, CBS news reports.
Pawlenty has "emerged as one of the most energetic cheerleaders and forceful defenders of Romney, firing back against Republican skeptics and Democratic critics alike," the profile said.
Described by the National Review as “Romney’s traveling salesman,” Pawlenty told the Times that when it comes to the Romney campaign he's "happy to help where I can."
Asked about the No. 2 slot, Pawlenty deflected the question. “I think I can best serve him in other ways," he said ,"but anybody would be honored to be asked.”
What do you think? Do you agree: Good or bad choice? Let us know in the comment section!