Pawlenty, Bachmann Could Have Plan B

Minnesota Republicans are excited to have two of their own being discussed for the 2012 presidential race.

Tim Pawlenty, who just left the governor’s office, says he is considering running for the job and will announce his plans in March or April. U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann has been discussed as a potential candidate and in recent days admitted that it is a possibility.

Pawlenty plans Iowa stops on a book tour this month and Bachmann will be in that first-caucus state for a major speech.

But what many do not discuss is what happens if they do not make the presidential cut. They could run against each other for U.S. Senate.

Many people already were discussing a Bachmann challenge for U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar next year.

For Pawlenty, a U.S. Senate race could be a natural. He planned to run in the 2002 contest, but then-President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney intervened and convinced him to stay out of the race — on the night before he planned his announcement — so Norm Coleman would have an open highway to the GOP nomination.