2012 Watch

Pawlenty on Palin's Spotlight Stealing

Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty said he thinks Sarah Palin is “a political rock star,” even if she stole his thunder in ’08, when he was widely considered a shoo-in for John McCain’s VP nomination. In a new interview with Newsweek, Pawlenty opens up about the woman who eclipsed him—and who could steal his thunder for a 2012 presidential run, as well. “You guys are obsessed with Palin,” he told his interviewer, adding that he realized before the media did that he wouldn’t get McCain’s vice-presidential nod—and before McCain deigned to inform him. “[I realized it] when they didn’t take me out of the slot to speak in Denver outside the Democratic convention only days before ours was starting. I didn’t just fall off the rutabaga cart, so I figured it out.” But with the bulk of the GOP’s 2012 energy focused on scene-stealing Palin and the deep-pocketed Mitt Romney, Pawlenty admits, “There is a legitimate question about whether somebody who is basically unknown, isn't independently wealthy, isn’t famous, would have a chance.”