“If Henman ever wants to win Wimbledon, he’ll have to change his name. Henman was the first person named Tim to achieve anything at all… The (name’s) association is with ‘timid’ and ‘timorous’ from the Latin ‘timere’: to fear … The real puzzle is that the Tims do as well as they do.”

– Martin Amis (as found on InsideTennis)
Amis was wrong in at least one respect – the name Timothy has Greek roots (Τιμόθεος – meaning ‘honouring God’) - but he did pick up an interesting point: that, given its comparitive popularity, very few Tims (including Henman) have ever achieved greatness. The only other two who came to mind when I faced this challenge were Sir Tim Berners-Lee (who invented the internet) and Tim Russert, the great American journalist who sadly passed away only weeks ago.

Now that the unbearable weight of Wimbledon-based expectation has been passed onto the young shoulders of Andy Murray, there is also a vacancy for the world’s most successful Tim (in the eyes of Amis at least). There is a reasonable chance that the next great Tim will in fact be the next Vice President of the United States.

Betting on the Vice-Presidential race is, in the view of most serious political punters (including Mike Smithson), little better than a crap-shoot. Too much of it relies on personal relationship (or lack thereof), and the sensible electoral calculus of the commentariat and psephologists is torn asunder by the ravages of internal party politicking or a lack of personal chemistry. That said, I still find it one of the most enjoyable horse races in politics, and pre-evaluating the impact that each potential choice would have on the Presidential contest should give us a head-start if the markets move when an annoucement is finally made.

TIM PAWLENTY is the Governor of Minnesota, and has been one of the most loyal McCain supporters since the very beginning, by agreeing to co-chair the Exploratory Committee back in January 2007.

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A new angle on the implications of the choice of VP candidate.