Gov. Tim Pawlenty: Sarah Palin can wait 'a lot longer' on 2012 decision

Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty says he will decide whether to run for the White House early next year. Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin can wait longer, he says.

Michael Bonfigli/Special to The Christian Science Monitor
Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty told reporters gathered at a Monitor Breakfast Monday that he would decide on a 2012 presidential run early next year.

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.


Sarah Palin leads the GOP presidential pack for 2012

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