ABC News: Conservatives Say Pawlenty Is Potential Presidential Candidate:
The confetti had barely settled after the inauguration of George W. Bush when hundreds of the nation's top conservative activists gathered in Orlando, Fla., during the last week in January for a meeting of the Council on National Policy.
Members of the council, an influential and private group that works behind the scenes to influence Republican politics, were already pondering the election in 2008.
Several noted that for the first time in many presidential cycles, prominent social conservatives have yet to identify a potential favorite.
In informal conversations, as described by two of the participants, more than a dozen names were thrown around -- most notably that of popular conservative Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty. Other potential candidates such as Tennessee Sen. Bill Frist and Florida Gov. Jeb Bush were discussed as well, though Bush has said he will not run in 2008.