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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Palin Turns Down RPI Fundraiser, Pawlenty Up

By Shane Vander Hart

Here in Iowa we practically trip over presidential candidates, it’s part of the state’s charm, if you love politics that is.  The closer to the caucus the better (or worse depending on your perspective) it gets.  Mike Huckabee has recently been in the state stumping for Bob Vander Plaats.  Last week possible contender Rick Santorum came to Iowa.  Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty is coming next month to headline the Republican Party of Iowa’s fundraising dinner called “Leadership for Iowa.”  Pawlenty seems to be positioning himself for a run in 2012:

Last week Pawlenty, who is not running for re-election next year, opened a national leadership political action committee and unveiled a team of national political advisers that suggest the Midwestern governor is eyeing a 2012 presidential bid.

Among those advisers are Iowans Sara Taylor and Terry Nelson, who were key advisers to President George W. Bush’s 2000 and 2004 campaigns.

Pawlenty has also built up goodwill among some GOP activists in Iowa, where he campaigned for 2008 GOP presidential nominee John McCain, including before the leadoff nominating caucuses when the Arizona senator’s campaign teetered on financial collapse.

He wasn’t RPI’s first choice.  Chairman Matt Strawn had invited Sarah Palin originally for this dinner or any other event she’d like to have.  Essentially an open invitation to come to Iowa.  Politico reports that her spokesperson, Meg Stapleton said the timing was too difficult.

Palin adviser Meg Stapleton said the former governor is still interested in a visit to the Hawkeye State, but that they couldn’t fit the dinner in.

"With the Governor's accelerated book schedule and other travel obligations, the timing was just too difficult to make a firm commitment,” Stapleton said, adding, “We look forward to another opportunity."

And I know that many of us would love to have her, as she was well received the last time she was here.  With her book, Going Rogue: An American Life coming out on November 17 it’s already #1 at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.  It is already a best seller at Borders and in the top 50 for pre-orders (they don’t rank as far as I can tell).  That may incite (or quash) speculation about her intentions in 2012.  Regardless, I hope she’ll include Des Moines on a book signing tour.

Shane Vander Hart is the Editor of Caffeinated Thoughts. You can follow Shane on Twitter and friend him on Facebook.

1 comment:

  1. "Conventional wisdom" would have her showing up at all such events if she really intends to run in 2012. What so many people forget is that Palin does things her own way. She knows that she is already in an excellent position to run, as of now. She also knows that Pawlenty doesn't pose much a threat. He can assemble whatever team of Bush leftovers he wants, maybe attract a few deep pocket donors, but the grassroots of the party grow in Palin's yard. It is the grassroots that will get out there, knock on doors, make phone calls, stuff envelopes, and answer phones. In most primaries and caucuses, it is the base that turns out, and believe me, Pawlenty has or will have limited appeal to the base. At best he's RINO-lite. Interesting to note that since he announced that he is not going to seek reelection he has hardly been in MN, or done any business related to governing the state, all his activities are aimed at his future political ambitions. Is that what Palin commented about, a lame duck governor doing nothing, and drawing a paycheck.

    Although I would like to see her take part in these events, she has been very successful doing things her own way, so I trust her decisions.