Iowa GOP: Sarah Palin can’t come? Let’s invite Tim

The Des Moines Register reports that Gov. Tim Pawlenty apparently wasn’t the first choice to speak at the Nov. 7 Iowa Republican Party fundraiser. They’d tried to get former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

But GOP leaders in the state praised their ultimate choice for featured guest at the party’s “Leadership for Iowa” fundraiser.

“We are proud to announce that Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty has agreed to headline our Republican fall event,” said Jeff Boeyink, executive director of the Republican Party of Iowa. “Gov. Pawlenty is the kind of leader we’re looking for.”

Said the paper:

Pawlenty has also built up some good will among some GOP activists in Iowa, where he campaigned for 2008 Republican presidential nominee John McCain.

Pawlenty campaigned with McCain in Iowa before the caucuses, when the Arizona senator’s campaign was on the brink of financial collapse. That loyalty could be meaningful to McCain supporters in Iowa, said McCain’s Iowa campaign director, Dave Roederer of Johnston.

Roederer said Pawlenty played particularly well in northern Iowa.

“He was one of the favorites in that part of the state to be the V.P. pick. I got quite a few calls about that,” Roederer said.

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