Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Palin Turns Down RPI Fundraiser, Pawlenty Up

By Shane Vander Hart, Caffeinated Thoughts

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

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2 comments: on "Palin Turns Down RPI Fundraiser, Pawlenty Up"

Lisa Graas said...

Thanks for posting this, Shane. It may very well be that she'll be heading there for a book signing. I'm just guessing. She hasn't attended even one party event since her resignation and that is a party event. I wouldn't be surprised if she's waiting for the grassroots to decided where they want to take the country, as far as taking back the Republican party for conservatives.

In her Hong Kong speech, she said the following:
The town halls and the Tea Party movement are both part of a growing grassroots consciousness among ordinary Americans who’ve decided that if they want real change, they must take the lead and not wait to be led.

I think she really wants to see the people band together and decide if they want to take back the party or not at ground level. One person can't possibly do it alone, and the party is on its last leg right now.

We'll see.

Shane Vander Hart said...

I hope she does come this way for a book signing. That would be cool. I'm not surprised that she turned down the request. I think it would be better for her to stump for individual candidates, but we'll see.

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