The New York Times features a piece on Pawlenty in today's paper, describing the Minnesota governor as possessing a "direct, everyman appeal to everyday people." Pawlenty is seen as a relative straight shooter who's not afraid to speak his mind, even when it induces cringes from constituents. (He made a joke about having sex with his wife once during a radio interview.)
Pawlenty has a voter-friendly biography: he grew up in a blue collar family where his father was a truck driver and his mother died of cancer when he was a teenager. He played hockey, which we imagine is mandatory to be elected in Minnesota, before becoming the first in his family to go to college. Perhaps most importantly, Pawlenty is young––only 47 years old, which could look good on the ticket for McCain, who is often derided as being too old for the job. Critics complain that Pawlenty's principles are guided primarily by his ambitions.
Pundit Andrew Sullivan agrees, and advises an announcement of a one-term presidency by McCain at the convention with a promise to pass the mantel to his younger running mate in four years.
The Washington Post profiled Pawlenty two days ago, when the media were buzzing about his perceived praise of Sen. Barack Obama for his positive message. The paper also described him as forthright in his communicating, but added he was promising "discretion" as his lead qualification for the Vice Presidency.
Pawlenty will most certainly be at the Republican National Convention. It's being held in Minnesota and he is the state's Republican governor. Whether he will have a larger role in the Twin Cities remains to be seen.