With ticket talk in the air, GOP governors gather in Atlanta

The current superstar of Republican veep possibilities, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, didn’t come to the RGA’s gathering in Atlanta Wednesday, hosted by Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue, the current RGA chair. But the more likely choice, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, gave the luncheon speech, and also attending were – in rough order of vice-presidential speculation – Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, Vermont Gov. Jim Douglas and North Dakota Gov. John Hoeven.

The RGA kept everything but Pawlenty’s speech closed to the press, including a political briefing by Barbour, which he later said focused on upcoming governor’s races, and the need for the group to form a five-year political plan.

The Minnesota governor, who still travels without staff or security, ducked out a side door after his speech, eluding the reporters who were waiting to ask him about things vice presidential.

Pawlenty’s speech dealt with the nation’s need to develop alternative energy supplies, but there was no mention of John McCain’s pledge, in his speech in Louisiana Tuesday night, to make a clean break with the energy policies of every previous president.

Pawlenty was talking about energy policy in his speech when he quoted Peter Drucker: “The things that got us here will not get us there.” But he might also have been talking about the Republicans’ prospects for holding on to the White House in November.

Southern Political Report
6/5/8