The Fix: Tim Pawlenty

Winners and losers from the Paul Ryan VP pick

For the better part of the last two months — and for some of us far longer than that — the Republican vice presidential sweepstakes has dominated the thought of any political junkie worth his or her name.

Now that we know the identity of Mitt Romney’s vice presidential pick — it’s Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, in case you have been in a news blackout since Friday night — the last major piece of the 2012 presidential puzzle has been fit into place.

Given the high stakes of the veepstakes, now that it’s over we thought it would be worth sorting through the entrails to come up with some winners and, of course, some losers from the process that was.

Our picks are after the jump. Have some winners/losers of your own? The comments section awaits.

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The Fix’s Final Five Republican VP picks

Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney continues to offer few clues about the identity of his vice presidential pick or the timing of the announcement — “I don’t think I have anything for you on the VP running mate,” Romney told NBC’s Chuck Todd on Thursday — but with the Republican National Convention just 17 days away, we know the decision is close.

U.S. representative (R-WI) Paul Ryan attends a vigil in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, August 7, 2012. REUTERS/John Gress

Despite the tight-lippedness (is that a word?) of Romneyworld when it comes to the veepstakes, it does now appear that the short list is getting shorter.

Below are our rankings of the five men — yes, they are all men — most likely to get the nod from Romney. These rankings are a combination of reporting, buzz and gut — all in relatively equal measure.

The number one ranked candidate is considered Romney’s most likely VP pick. To the Line!

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The vice presidential pick is overrated. Here’s why.

The political world — up to and including this blog — is consumed at the moment with trying to divine the identity of Mitt Romney’s vice presidential pick. Travel schedules are pored over, public statements are parsed, Wikipedia is consulted.

Lyndon B. Johnson (second from left), the last VP pick that really mattered - CREDIT: ASSOCIATED PRESS.
Given that level of attention, you would think that the pick is of the utmost importance in the presidential race, that a look back at past picks reveals make or break moments centered on the identity of the presidential nominee’s ticketmate.

Not so much.

The simple reality is that the vice presidential pick — viewed through the lens of recent history — has almost no broad influence on the fate of the ticket and, to the extent the VP choice has mattered, it’s been in a negative way.

“VP picks can provide a temporary burst of excitement to a ticket, but pretty soon things settle down and the race is once again about the man at the top,” said Ari Fleischer, a former Bush Administration official. “With communications reaching everywhere for the last few decades, the race is about the presidency, not the vice-presidency.”

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How ‘You didn’t build that’ hurts Pawlenty’s VP chances

Mitt Romney’s campaign looks like it intends to make a major issue out of President Obama’s “You didn’t build that” comment.

And that may not bode well for Tim Pawlenty’s chances of being Romney’s vice president.

Romney’s campaign has gone whole-hog after Obama’s remark to business owners, and Republicans believe the attack is working in spades. But if that’s the message, then Pawlenty may not be an ideal messenger as Romney’s No. 2.
Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney (R) calls potential voters from his campaign headquarters in Charleston, S.C., in January. Romney is joined by Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), left, and former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty. (Jim Young/Reuters)

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The veepstakes: Pawlenty’s up, Rubio’s down (VIDEO)

It’s getting to crunch time in the veepstakes, with rumors flying that Mitt Romney’s short list is taking shape and that he may announce his pick as early as this week.

In this week’s veepstakes video, we take a look at a trio of the top names being bandied about and let you know who’s up and who’s down in the greatest parlor game in Washington.

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Ranking the Republican presidential candidates: The best and worst

Ranking the Republican presidential candidates: The best and worst

The Republican primary is now over. Former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum’s decision to end his bid on Tuesday means that former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney will be the Republican standard-bearer against President Obama in the fall.

The end of the race means a time for reflection in Fixworld. (We are nothing if not introspective.) And, regular readers know the Fix loves looking back at the campaign that was and deciding who did it best and, more deliciously, who did it worst. (Some people call this back seat driving; we call it “analysis”!)

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Tim Pawlenty, Mitt Romney and the Fix Endorsement Hierarchy

When the news broke this morning that former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty was endorsing former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney , one question was at the top of everyone’s mind: Where does this fit into the Fix’s Endorsement Hierarchy? (Ok, so maybe that wasn’t the first things most people thought of. But, it was the first thing that occurred to us.)

Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty discusses his endorsement of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney during a news conference Monday in North Charleston, S.C.. (Bruce Smith - AP)

For the uninitiated, the Fix Endorsement Hierarchy is an attempt to categorize and rank the various endorsements in the political world — from the helpful to the horrible. (And, yes, our endorsement hierarchy is the political equivalent of Bill Simmons’ (aka the Sports Guy) 13 levels of losing.)

So where does the Pawlenty for Romney endorsement fit?

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