May 24, 2011


Is America Ready for President TPaw? (GERALD F. SEIB, 5/23/11, WSJ)

Few candidates have had as many things break right for them as has Mr. Pawlenty in the last three months. The shape of the Republican field, the departure of some potential rivals, the pace of the campaign and the emerging issue mix all have broken about as well for the 50-year-old Minnesotan as he could have hoped. [...]

He offers a good narrative for today's Republican party, which is more populist and downscale than your father's GOP.

He's the son of a truck driver and member of a union family who was twice elected a conservative governor in the state that produced liberal icons Hubert Humphrey, Walter Mondale and current Sen. Al Franken.

He showed a grasp of tea-party-friendly populist economics when, before the 2008 campaign, he used a play on words about Wal-Mart's warehouse chain to say his party should construct policies that showed it is the party of "Sam's Club, not just the country club."

As governor he fought Democrats in a budget battle that led to a government shutdown, and battled public-employee unions in a long transit strike. As Stanley Kurtz wrote recently on National Review Online, he is "Scott Walker with experience," a reference to the new Wisconsin GOP governor, who recently caused a much bigger ruckus by doing some of the same things Mr. Pawlenty had already done in Minnesota.

As a former Catholic who has become an evangelical Christian, Mr. Pawlenty has bonds with the Christian conservatives so important in the early states of Iowa and South Carolina.

He isn't loved passionately by any of the important factions in the Republican party, but he's acceptable to all of them.

Posted by at May 24, 2011 5:46 AM

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