Last night I met former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty. He is a potential GOP Presidential candidate with good conservative credentials, having governed one of the most liberal states yet managing to serve two full terms as governor. He vetoed lots of big spending bills and reduced the size of Minnesota’s government for the first time in many years.
But does T-Paw have a chance of winning the GOP nomination. My gut tells me yes. First off, I don’t think the leftovers from 2008 are that appetizing. I’m referring to Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney. Sorry, but both governed states in a very undistinguished manner. Romney signed a universal health care bill that is very similar to ObamaCare. RomneyCare, as it’s called, has been much more expensive than originally projected and continues to suck. Huckabee, meanwhile, raised taxes as Governor and has a lot of issues to answer for (google “Mike Huckabee Huckster” and you get a lot of negative info).
Gov. Pawlenty, on the other hand, fought hard against liberals in his state. Last night, He spoke to a group of College Republicans from around the D.C. area. He didn’t use notes or a teleprompter. After his short talk, he took pictures with people and signed books (he is on a 30-day book tour for his recently released book).
Two students who are originally from Minnesota had nothing but praise for his job performance. If he can capitalize on his success as Governor of Minnesota, Tim Pawlenty will find a fair amount of support for the GOP nomination. It’s too far in advance to prognosticate, but I wouldn’t be surprised if T-Paw does well.
On another note, I recognized a liberal blogger who was in attendance last night. Dave Weigel, formerly of The Washington Post, now slate.com, was presumably working on a story about the 2012 GOP contest. As proof, here’s a picture: