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Palin’s Shot Across Pawlenty’s Bow

schism.thumbnail.jpgWhile trying to make a virtue of what might have been necessity on her part, Sarah Palin takes dead aim at the actions of fellow governor, Republican and presidential wannabee, Minnesota’s Tim Pawlenty:

So that Alaska may progress, I will not seek reelection as governor. And so, as I thought about this announcement that I wouldn’t run for reelection, and what that means for Alaska, I thought well about how much fun some governors have as lame ducks – travel around their state, maybe travel to other states, maybe take their overseas international diplomatic trade missions, so many politicians do that. Then I thought that’s what’s wrong – many just expect that lame duck status, they draw a pay check and milk it and I’m not going to put Alaskans through that.

In order for this to make sense, you have to know a couple of things:

1) Tim Pawlenty thinks he’s a good friend and protégé of John McCain, and he thought last year that this made him a lock to be McCain’s running mate. Sarah Palin, who as we all know is not above getting off a few zingers at her political rivals, was rubbing it into Pawlenty’s skin that McCain picked her and not him.

2) Well before he officially announced that he was not going to seek re-election as governor in 2010, Tim Pawlenty started hitting the rubber-chicken circuit, getting his name out to Republican primary voters (and donors) outside of the state of Minnesota. Not that Smilin’ Tim didn’t have wandering feet before then. His out-of-state travel in 2008, when he was busy stumping for John McCain (and working to cadge a running-mate spot on the McCain ticket, as well as preparing the ground for a 2012 run), raised some eyebrows in Minnesota: During the first three months of last year, he was out of the state one of every three days. He’s been criticized for using his trips to avoid meeting with legislators on things like the state budget — instead, he just rejects their proposals and rules by dictatorial fiat, unalloting as he goes.

Yes, the zings about travel could also be said to be directed at Argentine aficionado Mark Sanford, who like Palin and Pawlenty is a governor who has — or had — Republican presidential aspirations. But he’s dead meat now; there’s no need for her to waste ammo on him. Her main target is T-Paw.

I can’t wait for the 2012 Republican primaries.

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