During last year’s presidential race, I occasionally posted items on Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty. An early supporter of John McCain, Pawlenty was frequently mentioned as a potential running mate for the Republican nominee. But the campaign ultimately decided that a slightly bland governor from the upper Midwest would not bring excitement to the ticket (enter Sarah Palin) sufficient to counter the heat generated by Barack Obama’s candidacy.
In retrospect, it was probably a good career move for Pawlenty that he managed to stay off of the Republican ticket. He has recently emerged as a fairly steady and reasonable voice amidst all of the conservative vitriol currently being directed against the Obama Administration. This has the effect of making Pawlenty increasingly look like a party leader in comparison to some of the other elected officials with whom he shares the national spotlight.
As evidenced by an interview in today’s New York Times, Pawlenty understands that decrying taxes, government spending, and budget deficits without offering an alternative isn’t a winning strategy for the Republican Party. But I was a bit disappointed that Adam Nagourney didn’t press the governor on specifically what that policy agenda might look like. Perhaps Pawlenty doesn’t know yet, but at least he seems to be thinking about it.
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