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John McCain attended the CPAC Conference in Washington and then campaigned in Kansas last week, which caused him to miss a global security conference in Germany.  No problem, he just sent his pal Tim Pawlenty, Republican governor of Minnesota.

Buddies and mutual admirers Pawlenty (left) and McCain (right)

This is sure to fuel the speculation among Minnesota Republicans that Pawlenty is likely to be McCain’s running mate in November, should McCain win the Republican nomination for president.  Pawlenty’s international experience is limited by his position as governor of a medium-sized albeit prosperous Midwestern state.  Attending such a pretigious event can only help Pawlenty, as long as he doesn’t pull a GHW Bush and yak on the prime minister of Japan before passing out and disappearing under the dinner table.

Governor Mike Huckabee of Arkansas

One prominent politician seems to have removed his name from consideration for the position, and that’s Mike Huckabee.  Appearing on NBC’s Meet the Press, Huckabee told Tim Russert this morning that he thinks it unlikely that McCain would select him as a running mate.  “I’m not going to be asked. I think it’s pretty evident that there would be a whole lot of people on the list long, long before me, and one of them would say ‘yes,'”  However, Huckabee reiterated that he is still in the contest to win it, and that he hopes that he will be the one looking for a running mate come convention time.

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