Monday, May 23, 2011

Tim Pawlenty: The New Mitch Daniels?

Tim Pawlenty announced that he is running for President today. His new theme is truth telling. It is obvious that Pawlenty is eying the establishment support that Mitch Daniels was getting. What attracted Daniels to so many mainstream Republicans was his penchant for saying things that needed to be said (truce comments, taxes comment, past support for mandates). So can Tim Pawlenty fill the void?

On April 28th, Pawlenty defended ethanol subsidies. Today, he came out against them, albeit meekly. I really don't care about his true motivations. This is courage. Even though Iowa is becoming irrelevant to the Republican primaries (since 1976, there has only been one non-incumbent Republican to win Iowa and then the nomination), Pawlenty's strategy almost depends completely on a good showing in the first caucus. If he gets beat by Romney or even Bachmann, then it is all over for him.

Pawlenty has been less courageous in other areas. He caved in on cap and trade, something that he strongly supported in 2008. It is not quite obvious what is the truth here, since cap and trade is a complicated issue. But certainly Pawlenty doesn't win any courage points for his "apology." Then there is his support for a "basket of commodities" standard (the gold standard's ugly cousin) and denunciation of "fiat money." We don't need a second Ron Paul in the race.

Also, has anyone noticed that Pawlenty did not endorse Paul Ryan's plan today? The Mitch Daniels supporters would certainly conclude that supporting Ryan's plan is the essence of "truth telling," yet Pawlenty, like the eventual Republican nominee, was unwilling to place on it his complete stamp of approval.

I am still learning about Pawlenty. I think he was probably an effective governor and would probably make a good President. I would certainly be willing to vote for him if he is the nominee. However, there is a lot to sort out with his positions.


BOSMAN said...


When i saw the title, I couldn't help myself.

Feel free to scrap!

Anonymous said...

Pablo, it's curious to me that Pawlenty is not getting hit for the renewable energy mandates he implemented--the most aggressive in the country, from what I read three years ago. He even traveled around the country trying to get other states to follow his lead. Yet, I haven't seen any mention of them. To me, that a much bigger clunker than his statements about Cap and Trade.


Bosman, great pic!

Closer To Home said...

Actually, throughout the campaign, I expect Tim to be serially " the new everybody," including the new Mitt.