Breaking: Tim Pawlenty Takes Himself Off The Veep Shortlist

Looks like the shortlist just got shorter. The Minnesota Star Tribune reports, via Taegan Goddard‘s Political Wire, that former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty has taken himself out of the running for Vice President on presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney’s ticket, ending the dream of electing our first Ectoplasmic-American VP.

Vice presidential hopefuls are famous for ruling themselves out, only to hear he siren again later, but Pawlenty’s kiss-off sounds pretty final:

“I’m going to take my name off the list, so if … you’re a journalist, an observer, remove my name from the list,” Pawlenty said. “I went through it before with McCain.”

Sen. John McCain, the 2008 Republican presidential nominee, passed over Pawlenty for Sarah Palin.

This time around, Pawlenty has been mentioned as a possible contender for Mitt Romney’s second-in-command, often followed by a one-word assessment from pundits: “boring.”

How boring is Pawlenty? He actually made this announcement 2 weeks ago, but the reporter just noticed.

T-Paw was unclear about his future plans, other than explaining to the enraged Trekkies who show up at Romney campaign rallies that he is not a Vulcan high priestess:

He was more vague about his future. Asked whether he might run for U.S. Senate or for governor in 2014, he replied: “I haven’t ruled anything in or out.”

…The former governor, who was heckled at an Oklahoma Republican convention over the weekend that later was shut down when Paul and Romney supporters brawled, said he does not plan to attend this weekend’s Minnesota Republican convention.

He will, he said, be elsewhere in the country, campaigning for Romney.

All kidding aside, Pawlenty would have been an excellent fit for Romney, with good conservative street cred, but a moderate temperament that would have appealed to independents. He also possesses a great deal more personal warmth than Romney, all qualities which suggest that Pawlenty bowed out of the presidential race too soon, before everyone in the known world got a turn as Republican frontrunner.

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