Romney vice presidential short-lister Tim Pawlenty is scheduled to appear on not one but two political talk shows this Sunday: ABC’s “This Week” and NBC’s “Meet the Press.” In the tea-leaf-reading world of speculation about Mitt Romney’s VP choice, that is viewed as possible bad news for Pawlenty.

Other VP possibilities, notably Rob Portman and Paul Ryan, turned down invitations to appear on the Sunday shows.

People in the extended Romney circle view the Sunday appearances as a sign that Pawlenty is less likely to be the vice presidential pick.  They feel certain that Pawlenty would not appear unless his appearances were cleared by the Romney campaign.  And they also believe that Romney does not want his soon-to-be-announced pick all over the airwaves in the run-up to Romney’s big announcement; no reason to risk a possible mistake or put the contender in an awkward situation.  Therefore, if Pawlenty is appearing, it suggests he’s not the guy.

Of course, that might be wrong. But to outside, and semi-inside, observers, Pawlenty’s Sunday work is a sign he might not be Romney’s choice.