MORE GOP VEEP SPECULATION.

Which potential GOP VP would be a good counter to Biden? Politico has an interesting article assessing each of McCain's vice presidential prospects. The article recognizes the strengths and weaknesses (mainly weaknesses) of Mitt Romney ( too rich -- together Romney and McCain are worth $35 million), Joe Lieberman (too Democratic and he's worked closely with Biden on labor issues and abortion rights), and Tom Ridge (an advocate of abortion rights, and he's got some questionable lobbyist ties). That leaves Tim Pawlenty, who Politico portrays as a walking talking-point -- incapable of doing anything but spouting Bush Administration rhetoric. When you compare that to the others Pawlenty sounds like the best choice.

But he's still a weak candidate -- he's young and inexperienced compared to Biden which undermines the experience contrast Republicans are trying to draw between Obama and McCain. It would seem a little hypocritical to make the opposite argument for the vice president. And in a vice presidential debate Pawlenty -- known to be even more inelegant than Biden when it comes to speaking -- would get ripped to shreds. Remember Biden's best moment running for the nomination was when he picked at Giuliani's argument that he's qualified to be president because of his performance on 9/11. Expect the same types of attacks of unpreparedness from Biden if Pawlenty is McCain's pick.

Pawlenty isn't always good with the words either. On a radioshow he said in reference to his wife "She loves football, she'll go to hockey games and, I jokingly say: Now, if I could only get her to have sex with me." That's not the typical tone of a vice presidential candidate. Further moments like those could make even Biden look on-message and sensible. I get the feeling that it'll probably be Pawlenty just because he doesn't have as many downsides as the rest but he's still a candidate lacking far too much.

--Daniel Strauss

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