Jamie Allman talked with Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty this morning on his St. Louis talk radio show and got him to endorse McCain publicly. That doesn’t exactly come as a shock; Pawlenty was one of the first major political figures in the country to endorse McCain for President in 2007, and stuck with McCain through the near-collapse of his campaign. Nor is Pawlenty alone in making a pitch for McCain. Sarah Palin, a Tea Party favorite, drew some ire for her endorsement of McCain over J. D. Hayworth, who has assiduously courted the Tea Party movement:
As I remarked to Jazz Shaw this morning on his Internet show, McCain remains fairly popular in his home state, and Hayworth has made it more difficult for national figures to back him with his Birther flirtations. However, it’s interesting to see national figures flocking to McCain; it shows that he may be more worried now about his primary chances than he has been for a long time.
For Pawlenty, this is a safe choice. As a man attempting to build a national following, he’s expected to weigh in on these kinds of races, as is Palin, and Palin’s endorsement clears the ground for Pawlenty. Even without those considerations, though, Pawlenty would have likely endorsed McCain anyway, just on the basis of loyalty. That also probably played heavily in Palin’s decision, although for less good cause, considering the treatment she’s received post-election from McCain’s campaign team.