T-Paw Rises

by Robert Costa

According to the Wall Street Journal, Pawlenty is the one to watch:

Meantime, attention increasingly is turning to Tim Pawlenty, the former Minnesota governor and onetime Romney primary-season foe. Of elected officials who joined Mr. Romney in a recent six-state campaign tour, Mr. Pawlenty stood out to party leaders as they handicapped who might be chosen to join the GOP ticket.

Privately, some Romney campaign officials have offered that Mr. Pawlenty has impressed them with his work as a Romney representative on the campaign trail and with the press. “He’s never done a bad interview” while acting as a campaign spokesman, said one Republican operative.

Moreover, Mr. Pawlenty’s background as the son of a truck driver from South St. Paul, Minn., is a potential counterweight to Mr. Romney’s wealth. The former governor also could help Mr. Romney in the battleground states of Minnesota and neighboring Iowa, both of which the campaign sees as potential pickups from President Barack Obama’s 2008 column.

Pawlenty recently discussed his surrogate work with NRO.