Will the Biden pick cause McCain to recalibrate his vice-presidential compass? Mark Halperin previously reported that the Republican nominee had “settled” on Mitt Romney, but Obama’s selection may nudge Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty back into contention.
McCain might want a form of economic ballast to counterweight Biden’s humble background; picking Romney would only widen the wealth chasm between the two tickets. Pawlenty, a man of modest means, advocates Sam’s Club Republicanism, a working-class philosophy much more palatable to Reagan Democrats than Romney’s country-club conservatism.
Romney’s supporters tout his economic fluency, but there’s no evidence that the Bain Capital founder ever connected to voters on bread-and-butter issues. In the Republican primaries, voters who considered the economy the most important issue actually preferred McCain. On the other hand, Pawlenty has a proven ability to empathize with lower-income voters, aided by his blue-collar background.