For the next few weeks you can expect a series of Politico pieces, based upon highly orchestrated leaks from “insiders” on the Romney campaign, trial ballooning various candidates to fill the coveted Romney/(Your name here) 2012 slot. The idea is to let Politico ‘get the name out there’, let the lamestream media take their best shot at the potential candidate and the Romney campaign can sit back and watch the base play Marry, Fuck, or Kill?

Today they are watching the applause meter while  holding their hand over the mulleted head of human snooze button Tim Pawlenty; a candidate so bland he makes Mitt Romney look like a Kenyan socialist Muslim lesbian:

Tim Pawlenty has jumped to the top of the vice presidential shortlist of several Mitt Romney advisers after emerging as the most effective — and well-liked — surrogate for the GOP nominee-to-be, according to several Republicans familiar with campaign deliberations.

The former Minnesota governor has impressed top Romney officials with his winning onstage presence at a grueling roster of Republican events throughout the country and with his low-maintenance personal style that has made him a favorite with the campaign’s tight-knit inner circle at the Boston headquarters.

For the record, much like “strapping young buck”, this is the first time in the history of the universe that the expression “winning onstage presence” has ever been used in conjunction with Tim Pawlenty.

In contrast to some of their higher-maintenance surrogates, the plain-spoken Pawlenty travels with no entourage — not even the “body guy” that even most House members travel with. Often, a Romney campaign volunteer meets him when his plane lands. But at an appearance for Romney in North Carolina recently, he rented his own car and drove himself to and from the airport. The local reporters were shocked when they followed him out to his car and watched him drive himself away.

When the campaign makes a request that he fly somewhere, according to a person familiar with the conversations, the former governor just says cheerfully: “Send me my ticket.”

Shorter Pawlenty: he’ll work hard for very little money based upon the delusional belief that one day the rich guy will  notice him and reward him with untold riches. Also known as “typical Republican voter who struggles to get by and hates unions and the social safety net”.

Historical note: In 2008 Pawlenty came in sloppy second behind Sarah Palin when John McCain made his pick. Technically, Tim came in third since McCain really wanted Holy Joe Liberman … as if the burn of losing out to Palin wasn’t bad enough.