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Pawlenty's Appeal to GOP: I Won't Embarrass You
Townhall.com ^ | July 24, 2011 | Debra J. Saunders

Posted on 07/24/2011 6:09:02 AM PDT by Kaslin

Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty's bid to win the GOP presidential nomination hasn't exactly been catching on fire. Earlier this month, The New York Times ran a story about his candidacy under the headline "Will Republican Race's First In Be the First Out?"

The RealClearPolitics poll average puts him in eighth place in the crowded GOP race. Fellow Land-o'-Laker Rep. Michele Bachmann fares better -- second place -- perhaps because she does not try to match T-Paw's mastery of "Minnesota nice."

Then again, nice guys finish last. So Pawlenty has started talking tough -- about the need for a nominee with "executive experience" who "has a record of not just rhetoric but results."

Pawlenty's dilemma: He's not polarizing, and polarizing generates buzz, which boosts poll numbers, during the early name-recognition phase of a primary. So he has to find a way to tell GOP voters: Unlike the showboats in the field -- no need to name Bachmann, Newt Gingrich or businessman Herman Cain -- I am the Republican who won't embarrass you.

(Trust me. Republicans are sick of going to parties where Democrats buttonhole them so that they can rant about Sarah Palin. No need to double down on that.)

Despite the early poll success of the firebrands, as the election approaches, GOP primary voters tend to be highly pragmatic. Their first concern will be whether a candidate can beat President Barack Obama in November 2012. They know that a polarizing nominee cannot win. They know that a nominee who is light on experience cannot win.

Spokesman Alex Conant summed up T-Paw's strength, noting, "He was elected and then re-elected in a blue state as a movement conservative, and he governed as a movement conservative." And he won re-election in 2006, not a good year for the GOP.

Pawlenty comes from a working-class Democratic family. His mother died of cancer when he was in high school, after making his elder siblings promise that he would graduate college. He was the first member of his family to do so.

He pushes his conservatism in a way that is palatable to independents. As he explained in his memoirs, "Courage to Stand: An American Story," "I'm pro-life and in favor of traditional marriage, but when I talk about these issues, I watch my tone. Steady, measured speech does not diminish the strength of my views; angry outbursts convince no one."

Pawlenty frequently points out that he balanced the state budget without raising taxes. OK, so the second budget came with a 75-cent "health impact fee" on cigarettes. That tells me Pawlenty is not so ideologically pure that he cannot cut a deal.

When he was a rooky governor, the Democratic Legislature gave Pawlenty a balanced budget without tax increases -- and he crowed that the legislators had agreed to "pass all our bills." In his memoirs, Pawlenty writes, "I didn't mean for it to come off as gloating. But it did." Democratic lawmakers felt steamrolled and "resolved to never let me win again. Often lessons are learned in defeat. But this one I learned in victory. A measure of grace is always essential."

In the negative column, Pawlenty may be too nice. In June, T-Paw tied rival Mitt Romney's universal Massachusetts health care plan to Obamacare -- he dubbed it "Obamneycare" -- yet failed to press Romney on his record during a CNN debate. "He'd be the first to tell you that the CNN debate was a missed opportunity," Conant responded.

Well, there may not be a lot of missed opportunities in the future. Texas Gov. Rick Perry may jump into the race, where he instantly could become the alternative to front-runner Romney.

"We've seen this movie a couple of times" before, said Conant -- rattling off such names as Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, Donald Trump and Fox News host Mike Huckabee. They all floated their names but didn't jump into the drink. "And now we have Perry."


TOPICS: Editorial; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS:

1 posted on 07/24/2011 6:09:03 AM PDT by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

“Pawlenty’s Appeal to GOP: I Won’t Embarrass You”

I am embarrassed by his weakness. Nice people do not run nations. A**holes do.

Pawlenty tries to be “nice” but it comes off as weak.


2 posted on 07/24/2011 6:10:39 AM PDT by Grunthor (Faster than the speed of smell.)
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To: Grunthor

LOL. Isn’t saying “I won’t embarrass you” akin to “I won’t be a wuss”? Imagine Reagan saying something so girly-man. Pawlenty doeth protest too much.


3 posted on 07/24/2011 6:33:28 AM PDT by Tzfat
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To: Kaslin
When he was a rooky governor, the Democratic Legislature gave Pawlenty a balanced budget without tax increases -- and he crowed that the legislators had agreed to "pass all our bills."

Well that would be great if he could take the Minnesota legislators wth him to DC. He should ask Bush how the "working with the Dems in Texas" translated to "working with the Dems in DC".

I like Pawlenty, but we need someone who has a real hatred for DC and wants to dismantle it. Huntsman's diplomatic philosophy won't even get his campaign off the ground.

4 posted on 07/24/2011 6:35:32 AM PDT by Tex-Con-Man
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To: Kaslin

What a joke and nothing more.


5 posted on 07/24/2011 6:36:44 AM PDT by HANG THE EXPENSE (Life is tough.It's tougher when you're stupid.)
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To: Kaslin
That's it? No foreign policy ideas? No economic growth ideas? No thoughts on immigration, tax policy or spending?

I won't embarrass you? Sorry, I do not want that man as my president.

6 posted on 07/24/2011 6:41:56 AM PDT by irish guard
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To: Kaslin

Seriously? It’s come to this for GOP candidates? We are left with “I’m not so bad” as a standard?


7 posted on 07/24/2011 6:43:09 AM PDT by anniegetyourgun
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To: Kaslin
I hate it when politicians pat themselves on the back about their record. Tell us what you plan to do as President. Your record will speak for itself.
8 posted on 07/24/2011 6:46:41 AM PDT by Texas Eagle (If it wasn't for double-standards, Liberals would have no standards at all -- Texas Eagle)
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To: Kaslin
"He'd be the first to tell you that the CNN debate was a missed opportunity," Conant responded.

Yeah, well, that's what we're worried about.

9 posted on 07/24/2011 6:49:02 AM PDT by Texas Eagle (If it wasn't for double-standards, Liberals would have no standards at all -- Texas Eagle)
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To: Grunthor

Pawlenty’s an Embarrassment now!


10 posted on 07/24/2011 6:57:19 AM PDT by A. Morgan (Ayn Rand: "You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality.")
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To: Kaslin

President Palin ... get used to it !


11 posted on 07/24/2011 7:01:51 AM PDT by Reagan69 (First they came for Sarah Palin and conservatives said nothing...)
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To: Kaslin

Pawlenty = part of the problem
Gingrich = another part of the problem
Romney = another part of the problem

Palin = the solution


12 posted on 07/24/2011 7:03:33 AM PDT by Reagan69 (First they came for Sarah Palin and conservatives said nothing...)
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To: Reagan69
From your previous post

President Palin ... get used to it !

Palin = the solution

I agree to both, but she has to run

13 posted on 07/24/2011 7:15:08 AM PDT by Kaslin (Acronym for OBAMA: One Big Ass Mistake America)
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To: Kaslin

Pawlenty’s done. He can be secretary of Transportation or something. Then eliminate the department.


14 posted on 07/24/2011 7:21:24 AM PDT by cotton1706
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To: cotton1706

Chuckle


15 posted on 07/24/2011 7:23:56 AM PDT by commonguymd (Freedom is a myth anymore it seems)
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To: Kaslin

“I won’t embarass you.”

You are embarrassing yourself.
We need someone who will kick some butt and clean house.

We don’t need anymore go-along, get along team players concerned about appearances.
The “team” is now the world’s largest criminal enterprise and the 536 gang members in Washington need to be sent packing.


16 posted on 07/24/2011 7:36:21 AM PDT by Iron Munro (The more effeminate & debauched the people, the more they are fitted for a tyrannical government.)
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To: Iron Munro

No thanks, Tim YawnPlenty.


17 posted on 07/24/2011 7:51:11 AM PDT by adm5 (AMERICA HAS ONLY GOD AND THE SECOND AMENDMENT LEFT TO SAVE THE REPUBLIC. by: LibLieSlayer 3/18/10)
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To: Kaslin
Pawlenty's Appeal to GOP: I Won't Embarrass You

You already have.

Loser.

18 posted on 07/24/2011 7:53:44 AM PDT by Jim Noble (Freedom is the freedom to say 2+2=4. If that is granted, all else follows.)
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To: Kaslin

What makes you think she isn’t?


19 posted on 07/24/2011 8:12:47 AM PDT by definitelynotaliberal (There is no native criminal class except Congress. Mark Twain)
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To: definitelynotaliberal

I didn’t say she won’t, but unless she announces that she will, we really don’t know, do we? She will get get my vote in the primary and then I go in from there


20 posted on 07/24/2011 8:49:09 AM PDT by Kaslin (Acronym for OBAMA: One Big Ass Mistake America)
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To: Kaslin

I asked why you think she isn’t running right now. She’s been running for a while. She seems to believe, and I agree, that it’s not necessary to wait to run until after she has made the announcement.


21 posted on 07/24/2011 8:52:06 AM PDT by definitelynotaliberal (There is no native criminal class except Congress. Mark Twain)
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To: Kaslin

This sounds like one of those movies where two guys are trying to convince the same lady to choose them. One is a Crocadile Dundee type and the other is a very proper and meek type who tells her, “I won’t embarass you.”

And if he were to gain traction the muckrakers would certainly find many ways to trash him and make him look silly, just as Gerald Ford was portrayed as a klutz and so forth.


22 posted on 07/24/2011 8:57:48 AM PDT by Anima Mundi
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To: Kaslin

Pawlenty 2012: I Suck Less.

Now there’s an inspiring campaign slogan.


23 posted on 07/24/2011 8:58:30 AM PDT by RichInOC (Palin 2012: The Perfect Storm.)
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To: Kaslin

Timmy, you already have.

Get off the stage.


24 posted on 07/24/2011 9:03:32 AM PDT by exit82 (Democrats are the enemy of freedom. Sarah Palin is our Esther.)
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To: Kaslin

To emphasize his “I won’t embarrass you” stance, he already has his own song......”I got Pawlenty of nothin’ “.......


25 posted on 07/24/2011 9:22:44 AM PDT by Donkey Odious (I can explain it to you. I can't understand it for you.)
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To: Donkey Odious; All
I wonder if you missed this in the editorial?

Pawlenty's dilemma: He's not polarizing

26 posted on 07/24/2011 9:59:44 AM PDT by Kaslin (Acronym for OBAMA: One Big Ass Mistake America)
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To: Kaslin

Seriously, TPaw...what a joke you’ve become...and I tried giving you a chance!


27 posted on 07/24/2011 10:12:58 AM PDT by MadelineZapeezda (ChelseaHandlerZapeezda2)
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To: Kaslin

Has a bigger wimp ever run for president? Not counting both bushes.


28 posted on 07/24/2011 2:11:42 PM PDT by Terry Mross (I'll only vote for a SECOND party.)
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To: Terry Mross

Are you saying both President Bush 41 and 43 were wimps? President Bush41 removed Saddam from Kuwait as he was asked to do. He was not asked to remove him from Iraq. President Bush went after the terrorists that attacked us on 9/11 which was not the first time we have been attacked by terrorist. No other president has gone after terrorists before.


29 posted on 07/24/2011 3:53:11 PM PDT by Kaslin (Acronym for OBAMA: One Big Ass Mistake America)
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To: Kaslin

They stood up to Saddam but they were whimps when they delt with democrats. Even when W had the majority. I have to wonder if Reagan ever told either of them they had veto power.


30 posted on 07/24/2011 3:55:11 PM PDT by Terry Mross (I'll only vote for a SECOND party.)
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To: Grunthor
I don 't think he sounds so nice. He sounds like a smug jerkwater to me. And you can take "minnesota nice" and shove that one too. I'm weary of all the dirtbag Minnesota 'rats slandering good decent Americans.
31 posted on 07/24/2011 5:04:59 PM PDT by hinckley buzzard
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To: hinckley buzzard

“And you can take “minnesota nice” and shove that one too.”

I don’t know what “minnesota nice” is.

“I’m weary of all the dirtbag Minnesota ‘rats slandering good decent Americans.”

What has Al Franken said recently? He’s a ‘rat. I haven’t paid him much attention. Or was it that muzzie Senator?


32 posted on 07/25/2011 8:05:33 AM PDT by Grunthor (Faster than the speed of smell.)
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