Economics

Tim Pawlenty's Illusion of Dullness

The former Minnesota governor has a solid conservative record.

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Indianola, Iowa—When you pick up a glossy, multi-page color brochure at a presidential campaign event, you expect to see a candidate's image on the front. The ones stacked on a table inside the Sports Page Grill, where Tim Pawlenty is appearing this morning, do feature that sort of photo. But it's not of Pawlenty. It's of Barack Obama.

This choice does not reflect a heroic sublimation of ego. The headline on the flier says, "Leadership isn't about fancy speeches and empty promises." Pawlenty wants to convey a simple message: He is nothing like Obama, and that's an excellent thing.

The candidate, who is spending the week touring Iowa in an RV, stands in front of a banner reading "Results. Not Rhetoric." The contrast highlights his strength, his record as a two-term governor of Minnesota, while reminding voters of the limits of oratorical talent.

"We got into this mess, in large measure, because we elected somebody as president of the United States who had no executive experience," he tells an audience of 40 people. "And then he went into the Oval Office, and we wonder why it's not working."

Voters who want a candidate to make their legs tingle, his approach implies, are welcome to go elsewhere. But those who want a candidate to get things done—conservative things—need look no further.

He recites his achievements: In Minnesota, he "took spending from historic highs to historic lows." During his time, it was one of the first states to implement merit pay for public school teachers. He curbed public employee compensation "before it was cool." He got reforms in state workers' health care coverage that empowered patients and reduced costs.

The list goes on, but the point has been made. "I'm not just up here flapping my jaws," Pawlenty informs the crowd. "I did it."

Believe it or not, his claims largely check out. During his time as governor, the state's spending growth, which had averaged more than 10 percent annually for decades, was cut to less than 1.7 percent. During a Twin Cities transit strike, he extracted significant union concessions on retirement benefits.

Not that he is beyond the usual feints and dodges. Asked what federal agencies he would eliminate, this implacable budget-cutter comes up with none. He blithely announces that "we can't let Iran have a nuclear weapon," without acknowledging that stopping it may require a major war with an uncertain outcome.

The broad theme of Pawlenty's "Road to Results" tour is directed at Obama. But it would work as well for some of his GOP rivals, particularly Michele Bachmann. A third-term member of Congress, she has never held an executive office, but her broadsides enthrall the party's most intense conservatives.

If Pawlenty hopes to succeed in the Iowa caucuses, he will have to overcome his fellow Minnesotan, who had 33 percent of the vote in Iowa in a recent poll, compared to 13 for him. But the caucuses are six months away, and Pawlenty knows some things that may explain his cheerful mien.

One is that Americans like presidents with executive branch experience. Of the last seven people elected president before Obama, each had been a governor or vice president.

Yet another is that the GOP candidates who stand farthest to the right are rarely chosen to lead. John McCain, George W. Bush, Bob Dole, and George H.W. Bush, the last four nominees, were merely conservative enough. These facts are also of great comfort in Mitt Romney's camp.

But T-Paw, as he likes to be called, has some other advantages that may pay off in the long run. He's relaxed and comfortable in front of a crowd—in a way the overeager Romney is not. His style is likely to wear well and make his often sharply conservative positions more palatable to independent voters.

It's hard to envision Pawlenty saying or doing something that would suddenly send his campaign up in flames. It puts no strain on the imagination to picture Bachmann doing that.

But his more placid personality should not be taken as moderation. He is a genuine conservative bent on turning the tea party's zeal into policies that would tightly constrain the federal government for decades to come. That accomplishment would not come without a long series of bitter battles.

Pawlenty's personality on the stump may come across as slightly dull. A Pawlenty presidency, rest assured, would not be.

COPYRIGHT 2011 CREATORS.COM

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105 responses to “Tim Pawlenty's Illusion of Dullness

  1. It’s hard to envision Tim Pawlenty saying or doing something that would suddenly send his presidential campaign up in flames. It puts no strain on the imagination to picture Michele Bachmann doing that

    Sleep with one eye open

  2. Of course Bachman would say something to ruin her campaign. There is no evidence to support that. But Reason doesn’t need any. She is one of those kind of people. Right Chapman?

    And if Pawlenty is such a conservative why didn’t he go after Romney on healthcare during the debates? Why? Because Pawlenty’s record on healthcare is almost as sorry as Rommney’s.

    1. There is no evidence to support that. But Reason doesn’t need any.

      Chapman doesn’t write for Reason.

      [COPYRIGHT 2011 CREATORS.COM]

      1. Reason publishes his opinion on a regular basis. I bet they pay for his work; ergo castrate him

        1. And he used to by “Byline” radio commentaries for CATO.

          1. Like it’s news that they hate women

    2. Bachmann is a joke. She tried to have it both ways on the house cut cap and balance proposal, by signing Jim DeMint’s pledge supporting cut, cap and balance on Monday, then voting against the actual bill in the house on Tuesday.

      1. Both ways?

        As in more opposed to raising the debt ceiling than Jim DeMint.

        1. You know, I like a woman who goes both ways.

        2. Let’s see, she signed a pledge stating that she supported raising the debt limit in exchange for spending cuts, and a balanced budget amendment passing both houses of congress. The very next day, she voted against the very bill endorsed by the pledge she signed the previous day.

          That’s called trying to have it both ways.

    3. I doubt there will be one singled (mis)statement by Bachman that ruins her campaign. Rather it will be a death by hundreds of exaggerations and false statements of lesser degree.

      Oh.. and when is she going to fess up that ‘federal tax attorney’ = lawyer for the IRS? Or is she embarrassed to admit that she worked for the IRS?

    4. T-Paw is eyeing the Vice Presidency that’s why.

  3. Republicans will focus on socially conservative issues (gays and abortion), rather than shrinking government, and lose.

    1. No they won’t. What will happen is Democrats will focus on those issues hoping to talk about anything but the economy and scare people into voting on anything but the economy.

      1. If Democrats succeed in framing the debate, as they usually do, and steer the conversation towards socially conservative issues, then Republicans will focus on socially conservative issues (gays and abortion), rather than shrinking government, and lose.

        Rather I believe that to avoid specific cuts to government and alienating the 50% of adults in this country that depend on a check being cut to them from the federal government, Republicans will focus on socially conservative issues (gays and abortion), rather than shrinking government, and lose.

        1. Standard political establishment talking point – opposing social liberalism is a political loser. Too bad there is no evidence for that. Also too bad that there is no reason that economic conservatism can’t be pursued simultaneously with opposing radical social liberalism.

          1. But why would you oppose radical social liberalism while pursuing radical economic conservatism? Economic and personal freedom go hand-in-hand.

            1. What if you want economic freedom in the form of low taxes and few regulations, but also want to impose your Christian morality through force of law?

              1. Then fuck you!

            2. Economic and personal freedom go hand-in-hand.

              Cultures either change or stagnate, fade and die off. I don’t oppose social changes, but I do oppose using government policies to promote changes desired by a minority.

              Abortion is a contentious issue because of legitimate differences of opinion, but court rulings essentially excluded one side from the political process. Not a good thing for a number of reasons including the fact that it represented a loss of political freedom for most Americans.

              Most Americans oppose the open border policy with Mexico, but those same Americans have watched the political class use a lack of enforcement of immigration laws and border security to implement a de facto open border policy. The will of the People is being ignored.

              Most Americans oppose most of the gay agenda, but have had to watch the political class impose it anyway, a good example being allowing gays to serve openly in the military. The mission of the military is to use force or the threat of force in pursuit of American foreign policy goals. How does letting gays serve openly further that mission? No one is evenly suggesting that it does. The change was made for no other reason than to allow gay activists to use government policy to advance their agenda. Some people call this an enhancement to personal freedom. I call it a reduction in political freedom.

              Same thing with changing the definition of marriage. If American society really wants to make the change and indicates so by voting for it in a referendum, then the definition should be changed. But that is not what is happening. The redefinition is being imposed by top-down government action. One again, this represents a lose of political freedom. A majority of the population is being excluded from the political decision-making process. And don’t even get me started on the things that are being done in CA schools to promote radical notions of lifestyle choices.

              1. If 51% of the country jumped off a bridge, would you do it too?

                1. No, but you’re advocating 10% of the country getting the courts to force 90% to do so.

              2. The mission of the military is to use force or the threat of force in pursuit of American foreign policy goals.

                You’ve got it all wrong. The mission of the military to be a laboratory for social experimentation and to accept social re-engineering imposed by Those Who Know Better.

              3. Good post, dripsy. Most of what is considered social liberalism is in fact social elitism. Moral trending imposed by a political minority.

              4. With all of the various pointless and endless wars going on around the world, I’d say that getting as much cannon fodder as possible, regardless of said fodder’s sexual orientation, would serve to further the military’s purpose.

                1. getting as much cannon fodder as possible, regardless of said fodder’s sexual orientation

                  That presumes that recruitment, retention and morale won’t be negatively impacted by the policy change. I think the main reason gay activists want gays to be able to serve openly in the military is so that gay activists can use the military system of indoctrination to bully and harass military personnel into accepting homosexuality. Most recruits are more socially conservative than the general population so the military indoctrination in favor of gays would be targeted at those most likely to oppose the gay agenda. Also, nothing inspires imitation like success. Integration of the military during Viet Nam is credited by many as a major factor in changing American attitudes toward race. Gay activists have been pushing the idea that sexual orientation is similar to race, i.e. genetically determined, in part to latch on to the political strategy that was used in the civil rights movement.

                  1. Did integration of the military negatively impact morale or recruitment?

                    1. The vast majority of Americans, INCLUDING Republicans and conservatives, supported repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.

                    2. The vast majority of Americans, INCLUDING Republicans and conservatives, supported repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.

                      I missed the referendum showing this to be true. I also missed the followup question asking if wanting to repeal DADT was due to a desire to return to the previous policy of excluding gays even if there is no asking and no telling. The media tends to phrase the coverage of repealing DADT in a way that suggests that gays used to serve openly and were only prevented from serving openly when DADT was implemented. Typical deceit and/or laziness.

                    3. Did integration of the military negatively impact morale or recruitment?

                      Irrelevant. Race is minor differences in physical characteristics. Homosexuality is behavior and behavior is specified in military codes of conduct.

                      Homosexuality is stigmatized by American society in general. If it weren’t, we wouldn’t be having this conversation and gay activists wouldn’t be making serving openly in the military a priority of their agenda.

                      Demanding that military personnel adopt a value system, a value system which they do not want to adopt, different from that which they possessed before entering the service will discourage some people from joining. How many people will be discouraged is a matter for debate. Being commanded by an officer which has a radically different value system will decrease morale and respect for the officer and his orders.

                      It is up to the advocates of gays serving openly in the military to provide a good reason for implementing the change. “Because gays want it” is not an acceptable reason. Military effectiveness should be the standard against which all reasons should be evaluated.

                  2. It was Truman before the Korean war who integrated the US Army officially. The actual integration happened in the field in Korea…according to Wikipedia, at least…which means this comment is backed up by NOTHING.

                2. One reason the U.S. military is so uniquely effective in combat is that it *doesn’t* treat soldiers as cannon fodder. It not only boosts camaraderie and morale and improves recruiting, but the focus on keeping the men alive to fight another day means you get an overall more experienced, deadly fighting force that’s capable of annihilating enemies while sustaining minimal casualties.

        2. Missed the Tea Party and 2010, did you?

      2. John don’t you know that teh gays is a much more important issue to libertarians than the worst economy since the great depression?

        Even if Obama is identical or worse than republicans on teh gays, libs just know that his hearts in the right place.

    2. What is more likely is that the RP establishment will sabotage any candidate who truly represents a challenge to the status quo, they will push an empty suit, that candidate will beat BHO since this election will be a thumbs up or thumbs down on BHO and the RP President will not do what is needed to turn the country around.

      1. I agree that the Republican establishment and their shill FOX News will sabotage any candidate that is a true fiscal conservative, since the Republican party depends on continual growth of government.

        They just grow different parts than the Democrats.

        1. They just grow different parts than the Democrats.

          Do they? Every once in a while the DP talks about cutting defense spending, but that doesn’t seem to have much effect. The DP does like to bring defense spending bacon home to the voters. As far as the RP is concerned, what have they ever shrunk other than tax rates?

          1. Neither party cuts anything.
            They will claim that increasing something by 5% when 15% was requested equals a 10% decrease.
            It is a 5% increase.
            This is why the Republican Party (and FOX News) will torpedo anyone who truly wants to decrease government, and will instead focus on gays and abortion.

            1. Fox News is a business. If there’s a demand for more libertarian views then they’ll promote it (Freedom Watch). They’ve got the highest ratings because they pander.

              1. Rupert Murdoch understands that people have always loved to see the established order challenged. If the US ruling class ever becomes thoroughly conservative, Fox News will become liberal. It’s a formula that works.

    3. Yes, sir. The republicans can always be counted to do the useless fundie shit!

  4. The broad theme of Pawlenty’s “Road to Results” tour is directed at Obama. But it would work as well for some of his GOP rivals, particularly Michele Bachmann.

    Not exactly an accident, ya think?

  5. Caption: “I’m going to catch me a chicken!”

  6. “Leadership isn’t about fancy speeches and empty promises.”

    Translation: Pawlenty accepts the standard political herd mentality of why BHO got elected and why BHO should not be reelected.

    “… we elected somebody as president of the United States who had no executive experience,” he tells an audience of 40 people. “And then he went into the Oval Office, and we wonder why it’s not working.”

    Drippy Timmy can’t bring himself to challenge BHO directly on ideological grounds. Instead, he attributes the bad things that have happened under BHO to BHO’s lack of experience.

    During his time, it was one of the first states to implement merit pay for public school teachers. He curbed public employee compensation “before it was cool.” He got reforms in state workers’ health care coverage that empowered patients and reduced costs.

    During his time as governor, the state’s spending growth, which had averaged more than 10 percent annually for decades, was cut to less than 1.7 percent. …he extracted significant union concessions on retirement benefits.

    In other words, he “made his state’s government more efficient”. No real structural reforms. He didn’t end collective bargaining rights to state employees. He didn’t institute competition for government schools. Just worked out a few concessions during a time of tight budgets. Didn’t do anything to change the game. Nothing to prevent government growth in the future. No real rollbacks of existing government overreach.

    Not that he is beyond the usual feints and dodges….

    He’s a typical, run-of-the-mill, establishment political weasel. No doubt he’d “do the right things” if he were to be elected POTUS, though. We can trust him.

    The broad theme of Pawlenty’s “Road to Results” tour is directed at Obama. But it would work as well for some of his GOP rivals, particularly Michele Bachmann.

    No doubt that is true. And if RP primary voters thought that the main problem with BHO is that he lacks experience, then maybe Pawlenty could roll right over Bachmann. Unfortunately for Timmy, RP primary voters, particularly the highly energized TP wing, don’t see lack of experience as the main problem with BHO and don’t see a cookie cutter pol like Timmy as the antidote to the BHO disease.

    Yet another is that the GOP candidates who stand farthest to the right are rarely chosen to lead. John McCain, George W. Bush, Bob Dole, and George H.W. Bush, the last four nominees, were merely conservative enough.

    No they weren’t conservative enough. All were disappointments to voters as candidates and as Presidents in the case of the Bushes. Does Chapman not understand that this is not just another election? Is he blind to the TP? Does he not remember crowds of informed constituents bellowing at pols in townhall meetings during the healthcare reform debates?

    Anyone who accepts the narrative that America is on the brink of being fundamentally transformed into just another European-like nation at a time when the failure of the European Welfare State is clear to see, will reject Pawlenty without hesitation. Timmy is business as usual. He doesn’t represent anything other than more cooperation in the effort to put government in control of every aspect of the lives of US citizens. No one who cares about his or her freedom should support him. Pawlenty is just more of what got America into the mess that it is in.

    1. He’s a typical, run-of-the-mill, establishment political weasel

      Yep. That’s how he governed. His tough talk in the national scene is kinda funny. But I do think his stock will rise in the GOP in the upcoming months.

      1. But I do think his stock will rise in the GOP in the upcoming months.

        It certainly can’t fall.

    2. Translation: Pawlenty accepts the standard political herd mentality of why BHO got elected and why BHO should not be reelected.

      There is nothing to indicates he actually accepts it personally. Isn’t a herd mentality generally shared by a majority and isn’t that his target anyway? It sounds to me like a politician on the stump directing his arguments, etc., toward the majority of potential primary voters. I see nothing surprising in that.

      1. It sounds to me like a politician on the stump directing his arguments, etc., toward the majority of potential primary voters.

        By “political herd mentality” I was referring to the narratives of the political class, not the views of voters. The DP insists that BHO was elected because he allegedly gave great speeches, which is part of its attempt to create a personality cult. The RP accepts this narrative because it allows it to blame the voters for being fooled by BHO rather than accept responsibility for the actions of the Bush administration that crashed the stock market, which is the real reason BHO got elected.

  7. Judging by their actions in the past 30-odd years, a “genuine conservative” president will surely grow government, debt, and taxes. Is Reagan not the conservative demigod? Rothbard dissected his failures:

    Ronald Reagan: An Autopsy
    http://tinyurl.com/dteuj

  8. Lose the “T-Paw”, Tim. You’re from Minnesota, not West Virginia.

  9. SC Highway Patrolman arrested on drug charges

    A South Carolina Highway Patrolman residing in Myrtle Beach was arrested and charged with numerous counts of manufacturing, distributing and possessing narcotic drugs, according to press reports.

    Bobby Lee Spurgeon, 42, of 3913 Carnegie Avenue, Myrtle Beach, was booked into the Horry County detention center Friday night on charges of manufacturing, distributing and possessing LSD and cocaine.

    Press reports say that Spurgeon, a corporal with the highway patrol, has been fired and that the patrol is cooperating in the investigation.

    Spurgeon’s dog was not shot.

    http://beauforttribune.com/archives/43287

    1. His dog WAS shot.

    1. Interesting. The Kochs are definitely not social cons, but they’re backing Bachmann.

    2. This is kind of a let down.

    3. Makes sense (for Koch interests)to back the most laissez faire electable candidate.

      1. Is that it or is the Kochtopus just wrapping one tentacle around one of the possibilities?

        1. We love the idea of the Kochtopus wrapping a tentacle around Bachmann!

      2. not if the drug story is true…

      3. just because she claims to read Mises on the beach doesn’t mean that she is laissez faire, it only means that she knows how to pander(and fails) to Paul supporters

    4. After reading the article, this claim is a bit overblown. They gave to her 2012 congressional reelection committee and her political action committee, but it’s not clear whether they gave to her presidential committee. I know that she could use the funds for that purpose, but that’s not the same thing as endorsing her for president. It wouldn’t surprise me that they would give her money as a Congresswoman, because she’s definitely more free market than a lot of people in the House, but I’d be surprised if they give to her presidential committee directly.

    5. $26,000 to Bachmann since 2006. It doesn’t sound like all that much as far as these kinds of contributions go.

  10. “And in this little maroon book, I have all of the secrets of how to lose the Big 10 Conference repeatedly to inferior teams. The UMinn coach gave it to me. I plan on applying all of these lessons to my campaign.”

  11. Who?

    1. I think he’s a country singer.

      1. Black hat or white hat?

      2. No, T-Paw is the guy who sings in autotune.

        Dude, he should totally do a debate in autotune.

  12. 1) T-Paw was well on his way to losing the governorship in 2008. The only reason he won was because the other guy was a bad candidate and flamed out in the last week of the campaign (got in a urination match with a reporter).

    2) Um, we just had a shutdown here because our state was left in such a wonderful financial condition by him.

    3) “Health Impact Fee.” Remember that term whenever T-Paw starts talking about his record on taxes. A health impact fee is what he called a cigarette tax. He used that term so he could continue claiming he never raised taxes.

    For the life of me I have no idea why this guy thinks he is presidential material. Or – even more puzzling – why other pols think so as well.

    1. As I’ve mentioned before, PJ, my Minnesota conservative friends detest this guy but my Neo-con bosses seem to like him.

      1. How are Pawlenty’s renewable energy standards working out? I notice he apologized for supporting “cap and trade”, but hasn’t uttered a single statement about pushing legislation that requires utilities to produce 25% of their electricity from renewables.

      2. The only people I know who like him are a couple of guys who play in a weekly hockey game with him. They all tell me how down to earth he is.

        Other than that, everyone I know dislikes him. He was especially odious when he was trying to become McCain’s VP.

        p.s. Mongo, you aren’t from Memphis are you? If so, I’m proud to have voted for you back in the day.

  13. Steve Chapman, duller than T-Paw, who’s polling behind Diamond Newt Gingrich (6% versus 7%). All together now: We love Mitt! Yes we do!

    1. STEVE SMITH SAY FORGET ROMNEY, VOTE STEVE SMITH! STEVE SMITH WANT ALAN VANNEMAN TO BE HIS RUNNING MATE! STEVE SMITH MEAN THAT LITERALLY!

      1. STEVE, shouldn’t you be concentrating on your campaign for sheriff?

  14. “The former Minnesota governor has a solid conservative record.”
    Yeah, he’s a god damn thumper! Altough not as bad as Perry who will probably win the nomination.

  15. Democracy never works.

    1. Only because people who disagree with me are allowed to vote.

      1. Because people vote favors from government and the politicians are only too happy to comply.

  16. Cultures either change or stagnate, fade and die off.

    I would say that cultures either

    (a) stagnate, fade and die off,
    (b) change and thrive, or
    (c) change, fade, and die off.

    Not every change is good.

    1. Not every change is good.

      That’s why I would rather that there be a real consensus on any big changes. Using the government to push changes advocated by small factions alienates citizens from their government, undermines the entire concept of self-government, encourages ever-increasing arrogance on the part of elected officials and is more likely to result in damaging changes.

  17. I hope to God that Ron Paul’s softening of his positions recently is just an entry into the political game, to appeal to as many people as possible, and that he’ll revert to the sort of absolutism in liberty he seems to be famous for.

    1. *If he wins

      1. *If When he wins

        FTFY because, let’s be honest, no power in the ‘verse can stop him.

        1. I truly, sincerely hope he does — but people seem to think he can’t.

    2. softening of his positions? where?

  18. Those guys make no snse dude.

    http://www.web-privacy.au.tc

  19. Let me get this straight: Obama was essentially elected on the “I’m not Bush” campaign and apparently that isn’t working out. So the solution is to vote for another guy running on the same platform?

    That’s not critical analysis; I believe that ties into the definition of insanity.

  20. Pawlenty’s record may be solid, but the dullness is real.

  21. Defending fiscal sanity and championing needed budget cuts will require a great deal of courage.

    How can we tell if a candidate has the necessary courage? See if they’re shown courage on other contentious issues, such as abortion.

    Opposing abortion means challenging the dominant narrative and upholding principle. The same can be said of supporting fiscal sanity and necessary spending cuts.

    If a professed prolifer sells out his or her principles at the first sign of establishment resistance, that is a good sign that he or she will also sell out his or her fiscal principles, too. Both positions will get you denounced as “extreme,” and the people doing the denouncing in each case are pretty much the same. Someone who surrenders to these establishment people on the one issue will be more likely to surrender on the other.

    1. What if someone honestly doesn’t feel strongly about abortion one way or the other?

      1. Then, if they are Republicans, they will make it clear that they disagree with their own party’s platform and will not be bound by it.

        Specifically, such honest candidates would have the courage to stand up to their right-wing fundamentalist primary voters and repudiate the following (from the 2008 platform):

        “Faithful to the first guarantee of the Declaration of Independence, we assert the inherent dignity and sanctity of all human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed. We support a human life amendment to the Constitution, and we endorse legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections apply to unborn children. We oppose using public revenues to promote or perform abortion and will not fund organizations which advocate it.” [emphasis added]

        http://www.gop.com/2008Platform/Values.htm#5

        If the candidate is so afraid of primary voters that (s)he doesn’t have the guts to come out honestly against his own party’s platform, then (s)he does not have the courage or leadership caliber to stand up to the numerous supporters of unsustainable spending.

        And a candidate who claims to *agree* that children in the womb have inalienable rights which the federal government must protect, but doesn’t care enough about the issue to spend political capital on it, then obviously that candidate doesn’t have the guts to spend political capital on fiscal issues, either.

        1. Short version: We need a candidate who has the guts to disagree with popular positions one way or another, because if he doesn’t, we know he’ll capitulate on fiscal issues, since there’s no popular version of telling people their government checks are getting cut off.

  22. Did you know that working-class Governor Tim Pawlenty grew up in a working-class family in a working-class neighborhood? As a working-class kid, his working-class parents instilled him with working-class values. As a working-class governor, he instituted working-class policies to support working-class voters.

    1. I don’t know why Chapman forgot to mention Pawlenty’s golden personal narrative. Pawlenty sure likes to harp on it; he’s always trying to channel his inner Joe Biden.

    2. Voting for Pawlenty is the equivalent of fucking a glass of milk.

  23. I’ve lived in MN my whole life, watch the news regularly, and have never once heard of him referred to as “T-Paw.”

  24. Jeez, is everyone off their meds? There’s more than the usual amount of wackiness on this topic. I like some of Chapman’s columns, but you KNOW he’s not a Reasonoid when he touts Pawlenty’s “solid” conservative credentials — like that’s a GOOD thing across the board. Okay, he’s an efficient manager and cheapskate. He’s also an unreconstructed drug warrior from way back. He could be Mises-Rothbard-Epstein-Novick on every other issue and he would STILL not get my vote for that one reason. NO drug warrior piece-o’-feces will ever get my vote.

    1. So you don’t vote, then.

  25. I guess he didn’t mention leaving Minnesota with a rather large deficit. Pawlenty has no ideas, new or old, and he would be a disaster. He’s not much of a thinker, either, claiming that the first Obama birth certificate was real because “the people at CNN said it was.”

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