Always the bridesmaid: Tim Pawlenty was runner-up in veepstakes

In our print edition today, we say that Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty was jilted for a younger woman: Sarah Palin. Turns out that wasn't far from the truth--T-Paw was one of two finalists for the VP position but was edged out at the last minute by Sarah Palin, at least according to the Washington Post.

Palin was one of two finalists in the vice presidential sweepstakes who were interviewed last week by former White House counsel Arthur B. Culvahouse Jr., just days before McCain introduced her to the nation as his choice. The other finalist was Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty. One of the officials said Culvahouse was chasing down last-minute information about Pawlenty at the request of the campaign as late as last Thursday, the day McCain offered the job to Palin and she accepted.

Republican National Committee vice-chair Jo Ann Davidson apparently was confused by the whirlwind choice, because she conflated the two finalists' names yesterday into a new Republican super candidate, "Sarah Pawlenty."

Since Palin was chosen, the media has been doing the vetting that McCain didn't, resulting in a series of embarassing disclosures for the campaign. First there was the unwed 17-year-old pregnant daughter, then the un-McCain like record of devouring public subsidies like a hog at the trough, and the two years of membership in the Alaska Independence Party (which wants to secede from the union she now wants to be vice president of).

All of which must have some Republicans wishing that McCain has made the safe selection and gone with Pawlenty. In fact, a few more of these disclosures and Palin might get thrown over for ol' faithful (if only Carol McCain could be so lucky). For this reason, we are resurrecting the VP Pawlenty Meter, along with T-Paw's national ambitions, and setting it to "Blue/Guarded."

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