Pawlenty, a nonpresence at the convention, skips Palin's speech

Pawlenty, a nonpresence at the convention, skips Palin's speech

We've been keeping an eye on the VIP box at the RNC, where George H. W. Bush sat Tuesday night, and where, on Wednesday evening, Sarah Palin's family, along with Cindy McCain, Rudy Giuliani, Mike Huckabee, and Norm Coleman, among others, watched the Alaska governor's pugnacious speech.

Conspicuously absent was Tim Pawlenty, who is, after all, the host governor of the convention. Pawlenty, of course, was passed over as McCain's running mate in favor of Palin. From what we saw, Pawlenty made a brief appearance in the VIP section earlier in the evening, sat through not much more than one speech (Mitt Romney's, we believe it was), then got the hell out of Dodge. (There is an off chance that he took his seat with the Minnesota delegation on the floor, but we didn't see him do so, and in fact have yet to see him on the floor--or anywhere else--during the convention.)

And while Pawlenty has yet to appear at the podium, consider that Michelle Bachman said her piece on Tuesday, and Norm Coleman's already spoken twice. Pawlenty was scheduled to speak on the lost first day of the convention, and is penciled in for an appearance at the podium on Thursday. Interestingly, though, his office lists no public appearances for Thursday, and with the final lineup not officially announced until midday, it's anyone's guess whether he'll show.

Either way, it's hard to argue that Pawlenty's been anything but a nonentity at the convention. Judging by his absenteeism, we'd further posit that he doesn't have the stomach to put his party before his own sore feelings.

It'll be interesting to watch how much campaigning he does for the McCain-Palin ticket in the weeks ahead.

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