I got a rare in-person request on Saturday from a dude who introduced himself to me at a glasses store to write something about Tim Pawlenty, since he seems to be a leading McCain VP candidate but nobody knows anything about him. The best place to start is probably Noam Scheiber's recent TNR profile which lays out the basic facts -- he's a young, smart, hard-working guy who marries social conservatism to a certain amount of populist rhetoric while mostly hewing to GOP fiscal orthodoxy. Like a lot of governors who've had to grapple with opposition party control of the state legislature, he doesn't have much in the way of grand accomplishments and also has a certain aura of moderation about him but it's a little bit hard to know exactly where he stands.

Basically -- he seems like a good VP choice along a bunch of dimensions beyond the fact that this seems like McCain's only hope of putting Minnesota in play.

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