It had to be fun being former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, especially when it came to appearing on ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos this morning.

The former Clinton campaign strategist greeted Pawlenty in the aftermath of the announcement of House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan as Mitt Romney’s running mate by treating him as though he had lost the lottery.

“I have to get this over with,” Stephanopoulos said. “I admire you for keeping your commitment to come on this program.

“This is kind of like the second time that you were runner up in these vice presidential stakes,” he continued. “I know you were called by Gov. Romney on Monday, but it’s gotta hurt a little.”

But Pawlenty took the dig in stride, saying that he supports Romney’s decision and that his backing was not predicated on his getting named to the ticket.

“I’m not disappointed,” Pawlenty said. “He just did something I didn’t expect.

“It’s a great pick,” Pawlenty continued. “As you have already seen, Congressman Ryan is bringing energy to the ticket.”

The selection of Ryan brings an articulate voice to the campaign who has shown his ability to connect with the base in a way that Pawlenty has never been able to – evidenced by his early exit from the presidential race last year following the Iowa Straw Poll.

Fox News host Neil Cavuto referred to Pawlenty as “dull” during an interview last month, which the former governor similarly took in stride.

It’s no surprise then that Romney, as someone who has had difficulty connecting with the Tea Party and others in the GOP base, would go with Ryan rather than someone like Pawlenty who shares many of his weaknesses when it comes to connecting with voters.