There was a little extra bounce in Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s step on Friday morning _ that is, until he saw a posse of reporters waiting to ambush him before he walked into the state Board of Investment meeting. Grinning, Pawlenty motioned a dive over the Capitol’s marble railing, signaling how far he would go to evade yet another veep question.
But in the end, he submitted, shedding little additional light but offering a very precisely worded answer on whether he is being vetted by the McCain campaign.
“Nobody has asked me for any information or to submit any information and I havenâ€™t talked to Sen. McCain about it or anyone from his campaign about it,” Pawlenty said.
He said that he and the senator from Arizona did spend some private time together on Thursday and chatted about “sports, movies, politics and policy, family.”
Meanwhile, Pawlenty continues to get serious national buzz, with a New Republic writer dubbing him the “slam dunk” choice, while a U.S. News and World piece called him the “flavor of the week” for McCain’s folks. CBS News yesterday called Pawlenty a frontrunner for the spot.
More intrigue: Like Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, Pawlenty now says he favors off-shore oil drilling, which is rapidly becoming part of the new Republican dogma on energy.
After ruminating, as he often does on policy questions, Pawlenty added through spokesman Brian McClung that he favored drilling in certain circumstances, chiefly, the agreement of the state whose coastline was involved.