The Times states that sources close to the McCain campaign are indicating that Gov. Tim Pawlenty of MN is the odds on favorite to be McCain's Veep.
If so, this is a good sign. He is one of the few governors who is young yet experienced, reform-minded, and a loyal long-time McCain backer. He has the same kind of populist, working-class appeal that Gov. Mike Huckabee has (something McCain needs more than he does conservative ideological purity) -- but he hasn't been savaged by the Club for Growth and by folks who just don't like evangelicals very much.
Names like Gov. Sarah Palin and Gov. Bobby Jindal have risen to near the top of the list, but unlike Pawlenty, and neither has served a full term (Jindal was just elected,) neither is from a swing-state.
The Club for Growth continues to cheer for Gov. Sanford of SC, who would also be an excellent choice -- but he doesn't have the long-time loyalty to McCain that many observers we can expect to see in McCain's Veep.
Gov. Crist of Florida didn't do his cause any good by some embarrassing gaffes in California recently. The guy is just trying too hard -- but then, all you have to do is look at a photo of the guy to know that about a pretty boy like him. Crist would be a hard pill to swallow in a Veep. It's great that they love him in Florida, but do we really want him to be the future face of the Republican Party?
Another name floated in the McCain camp as a dark-horse because of his purported ability to put an end to Obama's dreams of carrying the intermountain west is Utah Gov. Jim Huntsman.
The tea-leaf reading continues....