Veepstakes: Pawlenty Update

I see that Politico is reporting that the McCain campaign is not vetting Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty as a VP candidate.

Contrary to a blog report this week, Gov. Tim Pawlenty today said he is not being vetted by John McCain‘s campaign as a possible running mate.

“I have not been asked to provide any documents or information to the McCain campaign,” Pawlenty said as he headed into a noontime speech to an energy conservation group at the St. Paul Hotel. He also said he hasn’t authorized anyone to provide information about him to the campaign.

My take on this is twofold, and keep in mind that I have, in the past, said that the smart money was on Pawlenty (even though I think Crist is the only viable option for McCain). First of all, it could be a smoke and mirrors tactic, or a standard public denial from Pawlenty. My guess though, is that the McCain campaign has digested the polling from Minnesota and Wisconsin, and decided that Pawlenty brings little, if any to the ticket. McCain has to consider the electoral politics of his choice in a way that no one since maybe George H.W. Bush in 1988 has, and with Minnesota and Wisconsin both showing consistent, wide leads for Obama, Pawlenty’s effect would likely be next to none. The contest is most likely a two-way derby now between Crist and Mitt Romney.