Pawlenty one of top Republicans to watch, Cillizza says

The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza has been a big Gov. Tim Pawlenty fan, pushing hard for him to get the VP spot alongside John McCain. But perhaps losing out to disaster candidate Sarah Palin wasn't such a bad thing. 

Cillizza put Pawlenty on his list of "Ten Republicans to Watch" and says Palin might have been the best thing to happen to Pawlenty's career as a Republican. Rock on, Palin.

From the Washington Post:
Tim Pawlenty: In retrospect, T-Paw being passed over as John McCain's vice presidential pick might have been the best thing that ever happened to the Minnesota governor. He can now make a clean break from the GOP of 2000-2008 and offer his Wal-Mart Republican message as the cure for what ails the party. Pawlenty allies point to his state of the state address as a blueprint for where the party could go nationally in these tight economic times: increased funding for education, a cut in business taxes and a shrinking of state government.
Does Pawlenty have a prime spot in the Republican party? Does he really have a future in national office? We're still convinced McCain would have had a pretty good chance of beating Barack Obama had he gone "classic and boring" with T-Paw. Everyone loves a hockey mullet. 

Rival Palin also made the Post's list, but she's got a lot of repair work to do before anyone takes her seriously.