Former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin gave Rep. John Kline the maximum $5,000 contribution through her political action committee Thursday, according to federal election records.

The $5,000 donation from Palin’s Sarah PAC is a sign that the Minnesota Republican is poised to be a major player in a Republican-controlled Congress. Should the Republicans take back the House, Kline is in line to take over as chairman of the Education and Labor Committee.

The contribution from Palin looks like an attempt to curry favor, rather than offer a lifeline, because Kline is not facing a tough re-election fight and has a wide cash advantage over his challenger Shelley Madore.

The Palin seal-of-approval is also a good sign for Kline because a lot of so-called establishment Republicans have had to worry about a Palin-endorsed Tea Party insurgent in the primary.

Kline has not aligned himself with the Tea Party, and he didn’t join Rep. Michele Bachmann’s newly formed Tea Party Caucus.

Palin is viewed as a possible 2012 presidential contender, though many dispute how seriously she’s contemplating a run for the White House. But her endorsements this election season have produced some upset winners, from Joe Miller beating Sen. Lisa Murkowski in the Alaska Senate primary to Christine O’Donnell taking out Rep. Mike Castle in the Delaware Senate race.

Bachmann is the one other Minnesotan who has received money from Palin’s PAC this election cycle, as Palin gave the Minnesota Tea Party favorite $3,500 in 2009.

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