Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty says he will decide whether to run for the White House early next year but adds that former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin “can probably wait a lot longer to make a potential decision she might make.”
Speaking at a Monitor-sponsored breakfast with national political reporters, Gov. Pawlenty said he would make a decision about his political future “early 2011, sometime after the first of the year.” Pawlenty currently serves as vice chair of the Republican Governors Association and was a finalist in John McCain’s search for a vice presidential running mate in 2008.
Palin was the winner of that selection process and became a household name as a result. Pawlenty said his decision about a White House bid in 2012 “won’t be dependent upon what other people do or don’t do.”
Pawlenty did note Palin’s unique standing among potential GOP presidential candidates in 2012. “Given her status, she can afford to wait, I think, a lot longer than most other candidates because she has a kind of built-in level of familiarity and awareness and support that might not be the same for others.”
A Gallup organization poll of Republican voters conducted July 8-11 found Palin had the highest favorable ratings among potential GOP candidates followed by former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, and current Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal.