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Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

Pawlenty of Hubris

Tim Pawlenty has thrown his chapeau (that’s French!) into the ring.

A Time for Truth

We need a President who understands that our problems are deep, and has the courage to face them. President Obama does not. I do. Announcing my Presidential campaign at a town hall in Iowa, I will begin a campaign that tells the American people the truth.

Please make a secure online contribution, and together, we will restore America.

Really?  President Obama does not understand that our problems are deep?  And President Obama does not have the courage to face our problems?  But you, by contrast, have what President Obama lacks?

Just what do you think President Obama has been doing for the last two years?

Just what would Osama bin Laden would say about President Obama’s ability to make difficult choices in matters of life and death, were he in a position to do so?

Governor Pawlenty begins his campaign by telling the American People the Truth.

If the above is the truth, I’d hate to hear what a fish story sounds like.

Here’s the pre-Announcement Announcement, in all of its glory….

One thing for which I will give ex-Guv Pawlenty kudos with respect to his otherwise laughable statement is its use of “President Obama,” rather than, say, the Koranic Kenyan Kollectivist Kommissar….


  1. Shaun Appleby

    It must be tough to be going to so much trouble and have the Republican establishment and media basically ignore you.  He is really making an effort to bridge the divide between the Tea Party and business cohorts of the party but he’s had problems with bridges before.

    His staff have disputed the context of this campaign interview response, for example, but even so it seems so “in character” for him it’s hard to disbelieve:

    And when I ask Pawlenty, during a second interview in Des Moines, Iowa, exactly when he decided he was up to the grand challenge of the presidency, he answers in less than grandiose terms, explaining how he’d set up a political-action committee in 2009. I try again, saying I am curious about when he first imagined himself worthy of the history books, ready to send soldiers to their deaths and endure the national stage’s harsh toll. “I don’t know,” he replies. “I wish I had a good answer for you on that.”

    Michael Crowley – Pawlenty Makes GOP Bid Official Time 23 May 11

    Not exactly setting the place on fire.  I’m guessing the electorate is equally ambiguous about his bid.  It’s nice that he’s polite, as you point out, but some of the things that come out of his mouth are pretty hard to credit as he tries to ingratiate himself with social conservatives and other blow-hards who seem to have disproportionate sway among Republicans.  “Fair tax,” deficit hawkishness, Obamacare derision all sound weird coming from a guy with the personality of a shopping-mall tax accountant.  I feel a bit sorry for him, it must be a tough time to be trying for the nomination of the “party of the damned.”

  2. jsfox

    President Obama doesn’t understand our problems are deep, but I do . . .

    What the hell does that even mean?

    Why does he understand them because he knows all about collapsing bridges?

    Because he understands the economic realities of today?

    Today, Minnesota is struggling with a projected budget deficit of $5 billion, which some blame on Pawlenty. “I don’t think any governor has left behind a worse financial mess than he has,” says Arne Carlson, a Republican who was Minnesota’s governor from 1991 to 1999.

    Because he can twist himself into a pretzel to win over the hard line base?

    Pawlenty will also have to explain to conservatives his stint of activism on global warming, which in 2007 he called “one of the most important [issues] of our time.” He signed bills promoting clean energy and a cap-and-trade system of carbon limits similar to the model envisioned by Obama. He toured the state with the Minnesota-based Arctic explorer Will Steger to “convince the skeptics,” as he put it, and even considered visiting the Arctic. He made a 2008 radio ad urging Congress to “cap greenhouse-gas pollution now!” But he now takes it all back, saying the human impact on climate change is unproven. “It was a mistake, and I’m sorry,” Pawlenty said in a May 6 Fox News debate, leaving it to others to judge whether his mind was changed by the science or by growing skepticism among Republicans.

    Pawlenty has some splaining to do.

  3. Rashaverak

    Telling quote from this diary:

    Children who are victims of failed personal responsibility are not my problem, nor are they the problem for our government.

    Majority Leader Tim Pawlenty, April 2001 – as quoted in the Aitkin Independent (newspaper).


    Pawlenty was raised a Roman Catholic. His conversion to an Evangelical Christian faith is largely attributed to his wife Mary, who is a member of Wooddale Church in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. The church is part of the Minnesota Baptist Conference, and the senior pastor, Leith Anderson, is the president of the National Association of Evangelicals.[1][135] In a January 2011 interview, Mr. Pawlenty stated that “I love and respect and admire the Catholic Church. I still attend Mass once in a while there. The church I now attend is an inter-denominational church which has got many former Catholics in it, and so we share the Christian faith and the Bible. I had to reconcile my faith life with my wife so we could have a consistent, integrated family faith life.”

    Apparently, Matthew 25 is not part of Mr. Pawlenty’s Christian faith, Bible, or consistent, integrated family faith life.

    31.   When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:

    32.   And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:

    33.   And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.

    34.   Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

    35.   For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:

    36.   Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

    37.   Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?

    38.   When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?

    39.   Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

    40.   And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

    41.   Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

    42.   For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:

    43.   I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.

    44.   Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?

    45.   Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.

    46.   And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

    King James version, courtesy of the Unbound Bible.

  4. Rashaverak

    Pawlenty’s message is a brutal curtailed (in)version of Christ’s:

    Does this mean that TP is the Antichrist, like the Black Mass is an inversion of the Mass?

    Suffer the little Children to come unto the me.


    Suffer the little Children… it’s not my problem


    The little children suffer… it’s not my problem


    Suffer the little children to suffer… it’s not my problem

    Why doesn’t he rewrite Emma Lazarus’ words on the base of the Statue of Liberty:

    “Shove off your tired, your poor,

    Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

    The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

    Fuck off home. It’s not a problem for me”


  5. Jjc2008

    no surprise, partly because the press gives passes to the right a lot and partly because he is the dullest of the dolts and dorks on the right….

    But eventually someone will confront the man whose stated at some point while he was a legislator in MN that

    “Children who are victims of failed personal responsibility are not my problem, nor are they the problem for our government.”  — Majority Leader Tim Pawlenty, April 2001 – as quoted in the Aitkin Independent Newspaper  


    Of course that’s a pretty typical view of many on the right.  They call themselves pro life but they really are pro birth, because they simply don’t give a damn about the child once it’s born.  Apparently in the womb, from a zygote to a fetus, it is to be adored, protected, killed for….but after birth, not so much.

    And then there’s that bridge thing.  Keep waiting for someone to confront this dolt on his irresponsibility in upkeep in his state that cause the tragic death of innocents whose were simply just driving somewhere.

  6. DeniseVelez

    about this guy.  Oh well.  zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    Is my only response.  

  7. Shaun Appleby

    Barbour, Trump, Huckabee, Daniels and Christie are out.  Pawlenty, Paul, Bachmann, Santorum, Huntsman and Cain are in.  The search for the flight data recorder of Gingrich’s effort continues.  Romney is…  Well, doing whatever it is he does.  Guess it is time for the Right-wing spin machine to deliver a pre-emptive attack just to let Palin know this is not her time and that they mean business:

    “[Roger Ailes] thinks things are going in a bad direction,” another Republican close to Ailes told me. “Roger is worried about the future of the country. He thinks the election of Obama is a disaster. He thinks Palin is an idiot. He thinks she’s stupid. He helped boost her up. People like Sarah Palin haven’t elevated the conservative movement.”

    Gabriel Sherman – The Elephant in the Green Room New York 22 May 11

    …Bailey paints a portrait of an erratic, vindictive, unethical politician. Palin emerges as a woman far more interested in power, fame and fortune than in the day-to-day grind of governing.

    “I am convinced,” [former Palin staffer Frank] Bailey writes, “that her priorities and personality are not only ill suited to head a political party or occupy national office, but would lead to a disaster of, well, biblical proportions.”

    Steven Levingston – ‘Blind Allegiance to Sarah Palin,’ by former staffer Frank Bailey 24 May 11

    Smart money is on skipping this one for all concerned.  Pawlenty threw a campaign launch and nobody came; he just might get Cained over the summer.  Romney is still dodging Iowa; good luck with that one.  The Republican Congressional cohort just delivered the Democrats a gift-wrapped blunt issue to beat them with right up until November 2012 and are moving on to finger-pointing and dodging the blame.  Establishment Republicans are waiting for a “white knight” to save them from the Tea Party.

    Yup, this is better than going to the circus.

  8. HappyinVT

    But Mitch Daniels isn’t running.  It seems to me that the GOP establishment might push Pawlenty as the “electable” one over the rest of the numbnuts.  Unfortunately for the GOP establishment they chose to prop up the nutcases now they need them to vote.

  9. Shaun Appleby

    But NY-26 is tomorrow.  This will be interesting:

    While [Jane Corwin (R)] defended the party line [on the Medicare phase-out] at first, she’s spent the final weeks fleeing the plan, first by falsely attributing its entitlement cuts to her opponent’s platform and later by dumping her support for the Ryan plan entirely. Her actions leave little room for doubt that the GOP budget’s is politically toxic in the area.

    The latest poll from Siena shows Medicare is the district’s top issue and has Hochul taking the lead. Another poll from Democratic outfit PPP finds a 6-point lead for Hochul.

    Benjy Sarlin – Win Or Lose, NY-26 Is An Ominous Blow To GOP’s Medicare Phaseout Plan TPM 23 May 11

    6% in a safe Republican district?  Because the Republican incumbent went topless on Craigslist?  And the rest of the Congressional Republicans were equally stupid, but predictably united about it?  Pass the cracker-jack.

  10. HappyinVT

     T-Paw’s “opening day” and found some … inconsistencies (just a sampling below):

    PAWLENTY: “Barack Obama has consistently stood for higher taxes.” – Campaign announcement.

    THE FACTS: Obama’s record shows more tax cutting than tax raising. The stimulus plan early in his presidency cut taxes broadly for the middle class and business, and more recently he won a substantial cut in Social Security taxes for a year. He also campaigned in support of extending the Bush-era tax cuts for all except the wealthy, whose taxes he wanted to raise. In office, he accepted a deal from Republicans extending the tax cuts for all. As for tax increases, Obama won congressional approval to raise them on tobacco and tanning salons. The penalty for those who don’t buy health insurance, once coverage is mandatory, is a form of taxation.

    PAWLENTY: “ObamaCare is unconstitutional.” – USA Today column.

    THE FACTS: Obama’s health care overhaul might be unconstitutional in Pawlenty’s opinion, but it is not in fact unless the Supreme Court says so. Lower court rulings have been split.

    PAWLENTY: “For decades before I was elected, governors tried and failed to get Minnesota out of the top 10 highest-taxed states in the country. I actually did it.” – Campaign announcement.

    THE FACTS: Minnesota remains among the 10 worst states in its overall tax climate, according to the Tax Foundation. In its 2011 State Business Tax Climate Index, the anti-tax organization ranks Minnesota 43rd, making it the eighth worst state. The ranking slipped from 41st two years earlier. The index considers corporate, individual, sales, unemployment insurance and property taxes.

  11. Shaun Appleby

    But this just slays me, another town-hall by an unrepentant Medicare-vouchering Republican, this time Representative Rob Woodall in Georgia:

    Another woman told the congressman that Medicare provides peace of mind to her children, who would be on the hook for her care otherwise, much as they were before the social safety net was stitched together.

    “I’m fine with my Medicare, and my children and my grand children — my children especially — would have a lot of heartburn if they know that I’m not on Medicare, because that voucher is not going to go very far,” said the woman.

    Across the country, Republicans have faced hostile town hall attendees angered by the House vote to end Medicare for people under 55 and replace it with a voucher system that would not rise with health care costs, leaving it to cover less and less treatment as the years go on.

    Woodall suggested that the woman concerned about vouchers might find the type of health care system she and her children approve of in Canada or another industrialized nation.

    “If you want a socialized health care program, there are lots of places to find that,” he said.

    “But, for your children’s sake, I beg you: There aren’t many places to find the freedom to succeed by the sweat of your brow like we have here.”

    Ryan Grin – Rob Woodall On Medicare: ‘When Do I Decide I’m Going To Take Care Of Me?’ Huffington Post 23 May 11

    In other words, f*ck-off or die, or impoverish your kids, but defer to the free-market “success” of insurance companies and medical service providers who have inflated US health care costs beyond reason.  I don’t know what is scarier, assuming this guy is an unrepentant mouthpiece for the Koch brothers and the community or that he actually believes this stuff.  He got a round of applause for that remark, incidentally.  Have we become so selfish and foolish as this?  And citizens vote for this willingly?  Good Lord, who are they going to prey on when these people are all dead?

  12. HappyinVT

    Cantor would support Paul Ryan should he throw his hat in for 2012.  Really?!  Really?!

  13. Shaun Appleby

    Once again?  I find it necessary to do a bit of soul searching when this is the catalogue of my Patriot Act sunset champions:

    Citing personal privacy concerns, five members of the Democratic caucus voted no: Sens. Max Baucus and Jon Tester, both of Montana; Mark Begich of Alaska; Jeff Merkley of Oregon; and Bernie Sanders, a Vermont independent. Republican Sens. Dean Heller of Nevada, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and [Rand Paul] also voted no.

    Scott Wong and Manu Raja – Rand Paul threatens to hold up Patriot Act Politico 23 May 11

    Rand Paul?  Lisa Murkowski?  And Dianne Feinstein is an outspoken advocate who “warned against any political maneuvering that would slow down or derail the bill, which grants a four-year extension to key Patriot Act provisions.”  Colour me befuddled on this one.  I mean, I watch NCIS but I don’t confuse it with reality.  Am I missing something here?  Bernie Sanders for president in 2016?  Someone help me out because I’m still for combating terrorism as a law enforcement issue within Constitutional constraints.  We won, so to speak, didn’t we?

  14. HappyinVT

    via TPM

    Bachmann (R) 4.0%

    Cain (R) 4.0%

    Daniels (R) 4.0%

    Gingrich (R) 6.0%

    Giuliani (R) 6.0%

    Huntsman Jr. (R) 4.0%

    Palin (R) 5.0%

    Paul (R) 9.0%

    Pawlenty (R) 4.0%

    Romney (R) 32.0%

    Santorum (R) 2.0%

    I guess Romney’s thinking he’ll be okay skipping Iowa.  Iowa’s caucuses are scheduled for February 6th.  NH primary is the 14th with NV right behind on the 18th.  Then there is a break until March 6th (although I’ve lost track of Florida which is trying to move up).

  15. Shaun Appleby

    From Politico, of all places:

    Question: If Newt Gingrich, Tim Pawlenty and Mitt Romney were on a sinking ship, who would be saved?

    Answer: America.

    Roger Simon – The Republican freak show Politico 24 May 11


  16. Aw Gawd can I guffaw any harder?  CNN’s got a story up in their Political Ticker about how Rudy “noun, verb, 9/11” Giuliani might could be considering jumping into the race now.


    Best comment so far under the story:

    What is the point of Giuliani running? Reminding people that Obama got bin Laden?

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