The Daily Telegraph (out of the United Kingdom) released a list of America’s top conservatives. Pawlenty is #10 on the list (ahead of Mitt Romney and George W. Bush). Former Vice-President Dick Cheney is #1 on the list, conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh is #2. The only active politician (who is currently holding office) ahead of Pawlenty is Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan.
Here’s what the newspaper wrote:
The runner-up for the vice-presidential slot on the 2008 Republican ticket, he lost out to Sarah Palin then but is viewed by many GOP leaders as the better long-term bet. Has said he will not run for re-election when his term expires this year, meaning he will have more time to spend with his wife and two daughters, as well as the consultants he has quietly locked in for what everyone assumes will be a 2012 presidential bid. A Catholic who converted to become a Protestant evangelical, he is a favourite of Christian conservatives and also comes from a swing state and has the kind of Mid-West appeal that resonates in a national campaign. Although conservative on all the important issues, he advocates a broad church. “We loved Ronald Reagan, but he made some compromises along the way,” he said in 2008. “We don’t have a big enough party to be throwing people overboard.”
Has visited first-voting Iowa and even contacted supporters of Mitt Romney, the other Republican viewed as a certain 2012 candidate as well as founding his own political action committee, Freedom First. Is already engaged in a carefully-planned programme of criss-crossing the country speaking at conservatives dinners and other events. An increasingly assured cable television performer, he is a frequent critic of Obama, branding him a “movement liberal” who is “projecting potential weakness” on national security.