My thoughts on Tim Pawlenty

Update: Looks like it is not Pawlenty. Oh well. I would be happy about Sarah Palin, Meg Whitman, or Eric Cantor too.

There are lots of things that you can say about Tim Pawlenty. My sense is that he represents the future of the Republican Party in many ways. This is, in many ways, the hypothesis of the Sams Club Republicans.

More broadly, we can see Tim Pawlenty as more of a populist than many of the first-tier Vice Presidential picks. In many ways, he is closer to Mike Huckabee than any of the rest of them.

It seems to me that he also represents a generational shift in the Evangelical tradition. He is known as a Republican who embraces even more green positions than John McCain. While I have not seen him speak about poverty, I suspect that he is as articulate as John McCain, Sam Brownback, Rick Warren, and other people of the right who have moved this issue.  In this way, he seems to be embracing the future of the American evangelical tradition.

He also seems to represent a rejection of the donor class which was highly invested in Mitt Romney. Now, this was a rejection by John McCain. If McCain were to win,  that would seal some of that effect. If McCain were to lose, Pawlenty's elevation would likely lay out a conflict between Romney and the donor class and Pawlenty who has a much more mainstream, within the Republican Party, evangelical constituency than Mike Huckabee.

This is an interesting point. Much will happen over the next couple of days and 69 days. We will learn a lot about America and the Republican Party. I am excited that Pawlenty will be one of our leaders in this period.

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Under Pawlenty's leadership

Minnesota lost ground in poverty, health care coverage and household incomes during the six-year economic recovery that lasted from late 2001 through 2007.......

In Minnesota, we're seeing the consequences of this instability — not just in poverty rates, but in rising unemployment, foreclosure rates and perhaps even in school test results and dropout rates. Whatever growth occurred during the last weak business cycle did not reach many Minnesota families.

As a parent, teacher, and former student, I have seen first hand the decline in education here and fault our governor for insufficient funding. Fast rising college tuition rates are further  example of his failed policies.

That said, I seriously  think Pawlenty, with his working class roots and photogenic average suburban family, was a good choice for Mccain, even though  it won't be enough to win MN.

K-12 education failures are not due to funding

That is simply balderdash. We have never spent more on education. Spending per pupil keeps rising. Yet scores dont.

The problem is the failed system, not the funding level.

Here in Texas the charter schools get only 85% of the funding of public schools, and yet they take the most disadvantaged students and outperform academically. As a result, charter schools have long waiting lists of tens of thousands of students. 

Imagine that, better education for less cost! Amazing what competition can do!

If education is falling behind it is really due to a lack of openness, competition and effective learning alternatives for children; the solution would come from more charter schools and school choice programs.

To be pro school choice is to be pro school children.



I am not thrilled about Pawlenty, but at this point, I was thinking anyone but Romney, Ridge or Lieberman!

explain 2006, then?

a conservative Republican getting re-elected in Mondale and Humphrey's home state?  In the worse GOP year in a generation

You know the 1992 Bush campaign ran an ad trying to make AR out as some sort of devastated wasteland. It failed, obviously.  This sort of approach will work far worse with a state with a high standard of living like MN. 

Pawlenty won because he is quite likeable

I vote against him for his policies, but many people vote on character and personality. He does regular guy very well (working class roots, averge suburban home, strong family man)  Don't know if he can use these qualities to help Mccain in a 10 week campaign, but he would be a good choice and will put MN more in play.  Curious about what AR refers to, is it a typo?

It's the PO code for Arkansas

this by the way, is how to go over the top attacking a governor's job performance

A new Bush ad using film-noir techniques delivered a bleak, ominous landscape to Americans' television screens this week as a narrator describes Arkansas, where Mr. Clinton is governor, as a high-crime, high-tax, polluted state.

A vulture appears perched on a barren tree as the narrator closes by saying: "Bill Clinton wants to do for America what he has done for Arkansas. Americans can't take that risk

The Twin Cities are too picturesesq to try this tactic


MN is far from a devastated wasteland but

it has gone down hill on Pawlenty's watch. Many years ago we  took pride in our progressive state that led the nation in just about everything. Now we seem to be settling for below average on many measures, but our taxes are slightly lower.

I'd like to see MN  used as example in the election of the results of conservative policies. Hoping that Pawlenty is indeed mccains VP pick,  as it will make election even more interesting.



That's easy.

It was a three man race, and none of the candidates received a majority of votes cast. More people voted for someone other than Tim Pawlenty than voted for him in 2006.

Bill Clinton never won a majority

and both Pataki and Schwarznegger won plurality wins the first time


No one has talked about roles for Ahhnold or Pataki in a McCain administration have they?

The Bill Clinton example is irrelevant because he won decisively in the electoral college.

my point is winning is winning

Someone who ekes out narrow wins in Nebraska is probably a lesser campaigner than someone who wins plurality victories in mutlicandidate fields in a blue state   

Wining is winning, but...

in a bad year for one's party, being victorious in an three-way election while obtaining a minority of votes cast isn't impressive. 

"bad year"?!!?

Hello, we are talking about a year where competent GOP officehodlers were smoked right and left in Blue States---at all levels of government. 

By my count, the only two visibly conservative governors re-elected in '06 in a blue state were Pawlenty and Carcieri. 


As a conservative Republican from Minnesota I have not been particularly happy with Gov. Pawlenty. Aside from vetoing DFL proposed tax increases there isn't much that is conservative about him.

As stated above, he's a "Greenie." Mandates for ethanol, wind, solar, at an astronomical cost to the tax payer in terms of mandated subsidies. A tax on tobacco products which is what I'd expect from the DFL, particularly the part about renaming the tax to a "Health Impact Fee."

A statewide smoking ban. I never in a million years would have thought a Republican would decide that the government has more control over your property than you do. It is a property rights issue, not a health issue. That's just an excuse, and an excuse Pawlenty is getting quite used to using.

These are just a very few examples of why I am not a Pawlenty fan. I do not want him to be the future of the party. I can see it now. If he gets in to higher office, a nationwide smoking ban! A nationwide "Health Impact Fee!" Thanks, but no thanks. I hope he just fades away.

Huck without the drawl

Oh dear. The smoking ban sound like Huck.

Romney would be better.

So would Cantor, by a long shot.


I was disappointed when

I was disappointed when Pawlenty did not run for President this time.  Needless to say, this energizes me a lot about the ticket!

I hope it's Pawlenty

I think you are right in sensing that the direction of the GOP is going in a Sam's Club direction.  For the most part, I think this is the way forward.  The current GOP's crippling permanent weakness (Iraq isn't permanent) is its refusal to address working-class anxiety.  Too often, conservatives act as if perpetual income tax cuts are more important to regular folks than stopping the soaring costs of health care and gasoline.  When 80% of Americans pay more in payroll tax than income tax, we need to change our priorities.  If we don't address these issues, the Dems will.

Since Pawlenty coined the Sam's Club label, I would think he would be a fine representative of a Republican Party that is removed from the VERY stereotypical Republican that Mitt Romney represents.


When 80% of Americans pay more in payroll tax than income tax, we need to change our priorities.

Cut the payroll tax!

Cut the payroll tax and give an opt-out of Social Security option that would reduce future dependency on Govt and more investors and independence.



Pawlenty is about as far from Bush

as you can get and not cause a ruckus

a) Never held office in DC

b) Not from a politically prominent family.

If he is indeed the pick

I'm sorry to say that it's totally uninspiring and will do nothing to boost conservatives or independents enthusiasm for McCain.  I have nothing against Pawlenty personally and I'm sure he's a nice guy and all, but he brings absolutely nothing to the ticket.  He won't deliver MN, doesn't have the gravitas or experience of a Cheney, he has minimal name recognition, no clear political constituency, and a nice but unspectacular record.  Last but not least, I frankly have a hard time seeing him as presidential material.

I'm not saying there was a perfect candidate out there.  But just about all of the other contenders brought at least something to the table that could have shaken things up a bit.  McCain had the chance to do something big here that might have changed the game.  By choosing Pawlenty he basically just took a pass on his turn.  What a lost opportunity.

I Love The...

"Please, let Pawlenty replace Huckabee as a Christian Conservative leader, please..." When this nomination has nothing to do with Huckabee and if McCain/Pawlenty lose, Pawlenty is done in Presidential politics. In the history of the Republic, only one losing VP Nominee came back to be elected President and it was after 2 terms as Governor of New York that FDR came back.