Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R-MN) won't run for re-election in 2010, a signal that the Republican governor, who has acquired a national profile in recent years, is thinking about a 2012 presidential bid. Pawlenty will make the announcement today in a news conference scheduled for 3:00 pm ET. A source in Washington who spoke with Pawlenty said that the governor had "made up his mind a while back." Pawlenty's 2012 path mirrors the model that then-Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney took in 2006, when he decided that he'd rather go up -- to the presidency -- or out -- meaning that he would retire from political life rather than run for re-election. MORE....
57% of Minnesotans say they'd be open to someone else as governor, a sign that Pawlenty, although still personally liked by the voters, has worn out his welcome. Fairly conservative on most issues, Pawlenty has taken centrist stands on environmental legislation and health care; he is very frustrated with the tone his party has adopted; if, at some point before 2012, he decides to retire from politics altogether, I wouldn't be surprised.
He has played more than a bit role in the Coleman-Franken spat by refusing to seat Al Franken until Norm Coleman has exercised all of his legal options. The effect this has had on voters is unclear.
This article available online at: