But Bill Kristol, who also serves on the board of the Foreign Policy Initiative, lent his support to the idea.
“I’m already on the record of endorsing [independent Connecticut Sen. Joe] Lieberman,” he told TheDC, laughing. “I’m for Lieberman or Pawlenty. That probably dooms both of them.”
While Pawlenty hasn’t spent his career primarily focused on foreign policy concerns, the post is often given to a major political figure, not necessarily to someone who spent a lifetime in the foreign policy arena.
“Governor Pawlenty proved in his Primary campaign that he could master foreign policy issues,” Rick Grenell, a former spokesman for the American delegation to the United Nations who worked briefly as a Romney campaign spokesman on national security issues, told TheDC.
“He was knowledgeable and aggressive on a variety of national security matters despite some saying it wouldn’t be his strength. Modern day presidential campaigns are proving to be great testing grounds for Cabinet positions — just ask the current secretary of state.”
Grenell added in a separate interview with TheDC that it was only natural for Pawlenty to want to lead the State Department after Romney passed him over for the vice presidential nod, since it is the next most prestigious post.
Other names commonly floated include people like Lieberman, but also former Deputy Secretary of State and former World Bank President Bob Zoellick, who is viewed with skepticism by foreign policy hawks. Politico recently suggested Zoellick is the most likely candidate for the job.
“I had lunch with Zoellick this week,” Kristol told TheDC after the Tampa event. “He’d be good elsewhere.”