Washington Post rates Tim Pawlenty a "most influential" Republican

He dropped one position, from 4th to 5th, but Tim Pawlenty is still ranked by the Washington Post as one of the Top 10 most influential Republicans. And among GOPers jockeying for 2012, the Post says he and Mitt Romney lead the pack, "doling out cash by the bucketful through their respective PACs."

The Top 10:

1. Haley Barbour, Mississippi governor 2. Mitt Romney, former Massachusetts governor 3. Sarah Palin, former Alaska governor (resigned) 4. Chris Christie, New Jersey governor 5. T-Paw 6. Scott Brown, Massachusetts senator 7. Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the House 8. Nikki Haley, South Carolina gubernatorial nominee 9. Bobby Jindal, Louisiana governor 10. Mike Huckabee, former Arkansas governor

[Pawlenty] is everywhere these days. He swung through South Carolina for two days earlier in the week and doled out a bundle of campaign cash to Haley and Sen. Jim DeMint, among others. For the remainder of the 2010 election, expect more of the same from Pawlenty -- an orderly attempt to hand out donations to aspiring candidates and visit a number of swing states through his role as vice chairman of the Republican Governors Association. Some time after November, Pawlenty is going to have to have a moment -- a speech, an issue position -- that breaks through the clutter and establishes him as a major player. Until then, though, he is doing what he needs to do. (Previous ranking: 4)

Full report here.

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