Skip to main content

Book: how "Fishconsin" (Paul Ryan) beat "Lakefish" (Pawlenty) as Romney's VP

  • Author:
  • Updated:

A new book about the 2012 presidential campaign will be published on Election Day, Nov. 5, one year after Barack Obama defeated former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.

Time Magazine has an except from "Double Down: Game Change 2012," a followup to the 2010 bestseller "Game Change," a behind-the-scenes view of the 2008 presidential campaign. Both books are written by journalists Mark Halperin and John Heilemann. Politico reports the authors conducted over 500 interviews with the campaign's key players.

Time's excerpt details Romney's decision-making process regarding his selection of a running mate. He asked his advisers involved in the search to select candidates that would be immediately perceived as qualified to be Commander in Chief, and that there should be nothing in their background that could become a distraction.

The search was termed Project Goldfish, and each of the finalists got a code name. The short list included N.J. Governor Chris Christie (Pufferfish), former Minn. Gov. Pawlenty (Lakefish), U.S. Rep. Rob Portman (Filet o Fish), Sen. Marco Rubio (Pescado) and U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan (Fishconsin).

The story said that Christie was the leading candidate among many of the advisers, but Romney ultimately concluded the N.J. governor had too much baggage and attitude and that he was more comfortable with Ryan. "Beyond all the political pros and cons, Romney felt comfortable with Paul. He reminded Mitt of junior partners he used to work with at Bain: eager, earnest, solicitous, smart and not at all threatening."

The chapter goes on to say that Obama's campaign staff was mystified by Romney's choice of Ryan. The President's team had "...polled and focus-grouped extensively on Romney’s veep options in order to be ready to respond. Their research showed that Tim Pawlenty’s “pro-beer, pro-hockey” persona might have helped ameliorate the nominee’s case of affluenza."

Expect to hear more about all of this in the coming week. Politico reports the authors will make the rounds of the talk shows and political panels.

Next Up


Charges: Minnesota elementary school teacher sexually assaulted 3 boys

The incidents were captured on video taken inside an elementary school classroom.

Police tape

Person shot by police in St. Paul Monday evening

It happened around 6:10 p.m. on the city's East Side.

Kollie Jr.

Woman killed in Moorhead identified as suspect's mother

An appeal has been issued to find the suspect's vehicle, which remains missing.


Ticket details released for 5-week run of 'Hamilton' in Minneapolis

The tour of the production has been delayed twice due to the pandemic.


Minnesota Board of Pharmacy files lawsuit against 3 THC edible retailers

The board has received 46 complaints in the past four months regarding the products.

Screen Shot 2022-12-05 at 2.53.55 PM

ATF now investigating fire at Lyndale Avenue apartment building

It was the second fire at a vacant building owned by the same landlord that was being used by squatters in the past few months.


Let the good times roll

Minnesota Roller Derby is back!


Beloved restaurant in southeastern MN to close after 40 years

A final night of celebrations is scheduled for Dec. 17.


MN town shelves ordinance allowing residents to sue abortion providers

Attorney General Keith Ellison advised the town to not go forward with the ordinance.

Spring Street Tavern

Man shot dead inside Minneapolis tavern is identified

The suspect is being held on probable cause murder.


The buzz goes on: Romney favors Pawlenty for VP?

Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty is campaigning hard for Mitt Romney and blasting President Obama. No surprise there. But exciting crowds on the stump? The Atlantic says so. And Politico reports Pawlenty has emerged as Romney's most effective surrogate.

Ryan -- not Pawlenty -- Romney's VP pick

Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty tells reporters he's "not disappointed" for being passed over on the GOP presidential ticket. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney selected Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin to be his running mate instead.

Pawlenty defends Romney on tax returns, mum on VP announcement

In a new interview Wednesday, Tim Pawlenty said Mitt Romney has released an adequate amount of tax records and that the Obama campaign is trying to create a distraction with the issue.

VP hopes dashed, could Pawlenty become Romney's Secretary of State?

No longer vice presidential material, Tim Pawlenty appears to emerging as a potential candidate for Secretary of StateĀ for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, given the former Minnesota governor's strong interest in foreign policy. But is Pawlenty interested in the potential opportunity?