Tim Pawlenty’s endorsement of Mitt Romney in the Republican presidential race might persuade other moderate Republicans to join the Romney camp, says Adam Sorenson in Time’s blog Swampland.
For “high-profile Republicans sitting on the sidelines, still pondering who has the best chance to beat Obama, Pawlenty’s decision might persuade others to follow suit,” the story says, because Romney and Jon Huntsman are really the only options in the current field for “moderate Republican establishmentarians.”
Pawlenty is now an ambassador for the Romney campaign. The act of the endorsement itself — an e-mail to supporters and a post at Nation Review — is just step one in what will essentially be a surrogacy. It’s worth remembering that Romney quickly pivoted from scrapping with John McCain in 2008 to being a ubiquitous advocate for his former rival on TV.
But this likely won’t help TPaw too much in the VP considerations:
Finally, as he was in 2008, Pawlenty will now be part of the veepstakes if Romney becomes the nominee. That doesn’t mean his chances are particularly good. Marco Rubio offers the kind of excitement and demographic appeal that the Milquetoast Midwesterner can’t command, and there are other Republican governors, like Virginia’s Bob McDonnell, with sterling conservative credentials. Nonetheless, Pawlenty’s name will likely hang around for a while.