(CNN) - Republican Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty is publicly undecided over a presidential run in 2012, but he has a plan if he doesn't run.
"One thing I am planning is that if I don't run for president, I'm going to open a margarita bar in Florida," Pawlenty told CNN national political correspondent Jessica Yellin. "I'm going to get some Kenny Chesney music; I'm going to get a flower shirt."
No matter what he decides, Pawlenty said the Tea Party will continue to play a large role in national politics.
"Basically it is the fuel, the passion, the energy, the talent that's driving a lot of the accountability and call of change in the country," Pawlenty said.
He called the movement a "positive force" for Republicans and conservatives and said it is largely responsible for bringing new people into the political fold.
Pawlenty, whose second and last term as governor ends this year, played an increased national role in the midterm elections. And he seemed confident when discussing a potential third party presidential challenge.
"I don't think it hurts or helps, I just think it's one more hurdle you have to deal with," he said.
Discussion of a third party run has entered the political discourse because of the rise of the Tea Party movement and talk of a possible 2012 bid from independent New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
But Pawlenty said the larger issue now is making sure the newly-elected officials are prepared to make tough decisions. If they do, they will become "more popular, not less popular," the governor said.
"That's what people want right now," Pawlenty said.
Although he didn't elaborate on the ambitions of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, he did say she has "an unlimited future."
–CNN National Political Correspondent Jessica Yellin contributed to this report