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Pawlenty claims no disappointment

ST. PAUL - To listen to Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, you would think "disappointment" is not in his vocabulary. "I'm not a person who gets hung up on what I didn't get or don't have," the Republican governor said. When reporters, mostly from Minn...

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ST. PAUL - To listen to Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, you would think "disappointment" is not in his vocabulary.

"I'm not a person who gets hung up on what I didn't get or don't have," the Republican governor said.

When reporters, mostly from Minnesota, cornered Pawlenty after he spoke to the Minnesota convention delegation, he said he was not disappointed he finished second to Palin.

"You could say I was fully considered," Pawlenty said, adding that he had several conversations on he subject with John McCain's campaign.

For more than two years, he was thought to be one of McCain's top vice presidential options. He usually would brush aside questions about it with lines such as: "I already have a day job."

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Pawlenty said he did not learn that he lost the veep sweepstakes until Friday morning, hours before McCain introduced Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska as his choice.

"That whole week, it was unclear what was going to happen," he said.

After the convention ends Thursday, Pawlenty returns to full time as governor. He already is working on next year's budget plan, he said.

"Nothing changes," the governor said Wednesday when asked about how life is different now that more than two years of speculation about his vice presidential prospects had ended. "I am doing the same things I always do."

That's not exactly true. During the Republican National Convention, he has been one of the most sought-after interviews of the national and international media. He started Wednesday morning with an interview in a downtown cafe, then headed to the Xcel Energy Center for interviews by more reporters.

Sure, he may have been even more in demand had McCain picked him as a running mate instead of Palin. But political pundits nationwide say Pawlenty now is known across the country, so his political future is bright.

"Gov. Pawlenty is a real winner," Minnesota GOP Chairman Ron Carey said of the vice presidential contest. "He has been introduced to the country."

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