Archive for the ‘Tim Pawlenty’ Category
TRC is a pretty big fan of Senator Amy Klobuchar. She strikes me as an exemplar of the modern national representative, and I’m happy to have her represent my state in the Senate. That’s not to say we agree on everything (i.e. this bridge, which passed the Senate yesterday–more on this forthcoming), but that does not mean that I have anything but the utmost admiration for her.
And thus, I’m happy to see her polling numbers continue their climb in the latest polling data on Minnesota. She now holds a 61% approval rating in Minnesota, with a negative of 29%. A remarkable achievement, I would say, in this era of extreme partisanship. This makes her the 6th most popular Senator in the US.
As for other Minnesotans, apparently running for president does not help one’s approval ratings. Michelle Bachmann holds a 34% favoribility rating and 57 % negative. That same 57% think she should not run for another term in Congress. Yeesh. Tim Pawlenty also took a hit. 39% view him favorably. 51% said they would ‘definitely not’ support in in a statewide election.
Both Bachmann and Pawlenty have been seen as possible opponents for Klobuchar. How would that go as of today?
In a hypothetical match-up with Pawlenty or Bachmann, Klobuchar also comes out on top. Against Pawlenty, the poll shows her ahead against Pawlenty 54 percent to 39 percent and against Bachmann 58 percent to 35 percent.
I feel like TRC has been hitting the dirt lately. So I wanted to take a time out to praise Senator Klobuchar, and wish her luck in 2012. But I don’t think she’ll need it.
Here in Minnesota, we don’t mind keeping a low profile. It’s kind of our way. But there are limits to how low a profile we prefer. To wit: GQ has named former MN Governor and once GOP presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty as 2011′s least influential person alive. Says GQ about T-Paw:
Every election season produces a number of hilariously pointless candidates who have no chance of winning. Some of them have value as novelty items. Look! It’s Alan Keyes, the token black Republican! And over there! It’s David Duke! He’s a racist! These are the fun, fringy candidates. The Sharpton Sector, if you will. Then there are folks like Pawlenty, who fail to register even as novelties. T-Paw (as he calls himself) spent much of 2011 as a six-foot-tall paperweight, an aggressively forgettable fellow perfectly suited to the role of debate filler. The $1 million he spent to lose the Iowa straw poll might as well have been burned in front of a group of orphans.
To be perfectly honest, this isn’t a terrible position for a politician to be in, this November 2011, gearing up for the political madhouse that will be 2012. Not that, given another cycle, Pawlenty could have mustered anything other than that general ‘that guy?’
Others who made the list include: Hosni Mubarek, January Jones, Hank Williams, Jr, Harold Camping, Paul Reiser, Gwyneth Paltrow, Tila Tequila’s Twitter feed, Marcus Bachmann (blech), you get the picture. Quite a distinguished list of non-accomplishment, there.
My beloved home state is represented by two presidential candidates at this early stage in the 2012 Campaign. In last night’s debate in Iowa, they sniped and pinched, and tried to win their way into a new role in the campaign. Bachmann as a front-runner, and Pawlenty as a still-running.
I don’t know if those goals were accomplished. That’s for Republicans to decide. What did happen was this: Minnesota came out looking nasty. And that is not acceptable. Come on.
Another thought brought up by this debate, but going far beyond just last night reminded me of a comment left by a reader on a previous post, marking an important distinction about “politicians” like Michele Bachmann. It has been ringing in my ears of late. He said:
She is not a politician, nor is she interested in politics, at least not as a proper end but rather as an expediency or as a merely intermediate end. In other words, she doesn’t want to be a politician or achieve political goals. Her legislative record in the MN Senate or the US Congress is, well, almost non-existent. Sure, she holds opinions that are related to politics and she talks about them in front of media outlets, (most of her opinions seem to be about debt and marriage), but she hasn’t made an effort to treat these issues as political ones, ie, she hasn’t taken part in efforts to author, co-author, or pass legislation. If a politician is as a politician does, then is Bachmann a politician?
This is a real issue that needs to be answered for the GOP, and the Tea Party. Most of the candidates are “politicians” and the rest are business savvy/job creators, which is okay at the end of the day. But neither group seems interested in government and politics–if you want to be President you should have an interest in policy and government and a basic awareness of how the government operates.
At least half of these candidates don’t, and most of the one’s that do (Paul, Pawlenty, Huntsman) seem destined not to be the nominee. The rest seem interested in “politics” as means to something else. This is why you can have Michele Bachmann defending her record in the legislature as purely one of obstruction rather than anything related to policy–she has no policy interests. Liberty, unfortunately, is not policy–and light bulbs legislation is not an issue of liberty. Likewise, Francis Schaeffer is not a government role model. You can admire him all you want, but if he is a foundational building block of one’s world view, why do you want be President? Schaeffer, one’s opinion of him aside, is not interested in a government of laws, but a government of God’s law. He is not interested in civics.
Instead of questions about how to create a better government through the government, we have a national debate where Bachmann fields questions about being a submissive wife (the moderator’s fault for asking it) but it just allows Bachmann to field non-political, non-government related issues. This is not just a Bachmann problem either. Herman Cain still finds himself on stage, talking not about politics and policy, but religion. After having (maybe) learned his lesson when he announced he did not like and was afraid of Muslims, he just passed off a question about Mormons. If the conversation does turn to government, it is too often about the favorite cure of the Right–the Constitutional Amendment. Amendments apparently cure everything, even issues that are not real issues, like the debt ceiling. The Balanced Budget Amendment isn’t passing, folks, just like the past 10 years of trying to pass a national gay marriage ban has been a waste of time. Are these amendments anything but non-issues designed to draw public attention away from the fact that too many of our political leaders do not actually care about policy? Policy changes take compromise, and move the state slowly. That sentence seems totally at odds with the Republican Party of 2011.
I know this is not a GOP problem, or a new problem. Its an election cycle, and its very early at that. Eventually someone will be forced to discuss the actual reality of a thing called US government and what one will do when in the Executive Office. And it is of course important to go through the ‘getting to know you’ stage of a presidential race. But something seems to be in the air around this flock of presidential candidates–and the folks waiting in the wings, Rick Perry, Sarah Palin, Rudy Guilianni–I fear aren’t going to bring enough to balance out this problem.
Tim Pawlenty knows that climate change is real. If there were ever a Republican who was smart and pro-active about climate change, it was he. Why did national politics ever come knocking at his door, if it’s just going to turn the man into a fudger of the facts and a denier of reality?
Here’s former Gov. Pawlenty, talking to the Miami Herald, via Politico:
“The weight of the evidence is that most of it, maybe all of it, is because of natural causes,” Pawlenty said in an interview published Wednesday. “But to the extent there is some element of human behavior causing some of it — that’s what the scientific debate is about. That’s why we’ve seen all this back and forth between some of those prominent scientists in the world arguing about that very point.”
“There’s a lot of people who say the majority of the scientists think this way,” he added. “And there’s a minority that way. And you count the number of scientists versus the quality of scientists and the like. But I think it’s fair to say that, as to whether and how much — if any — is attributable to human behavior, there’s dispute and controversy over it.”
You know this isn’t true, Mr. Pawlenty. There is no scientific dispute over whether or not climate change is attributable to human behavior . “Those prominent scientists” that you mention arguing about this very point, that’s not real either.
But you, and the major climate denying population of the US, now determined to fit the demographic Conservative White Males (CWM, now, apparently), feel free to simply accept or reject science as you please. As though research and data and hard, scientific realities somehow depend upon one’s choice to believe them. There’s even science to support that the CWM doesn’t care about climate science.
It’s very easy to say that there is scientific controversy. That’s the kind of one-off statement that would probably sound like it is probably true to most folks who just don’t know one way or another. But it isn’t true, actually. It’s false. And I’m pretty sure you know it’s false.
Relative to: The state of Minnesota’s presidential candidates.
A long absence has passed since our last post, after some family issues followed up by the loss of the tip of a middle finger, but TRC is back, and 9-finger typing like a champion. Much has happened since we laughed at President Gentle–the middle east for example has turned completely upside down–but I’ll leave all that to experts and pundits.
Today I’m sticking a little closer to home.
Running for president is tasteless business, unfortunately, and I think that Minnesota is going to demonstrate that fact all too clearly during the 2012 cycle. With former Gov. Tim Pawlenty already campaigning, and taking his game up a step, and Rep. Michelle Bachmann looking to make her own run for the office, the state of MN will be trying to find its way to the White House for the first time. I have a feeling it will not be pretty.
The second first. Michelle Bachmann, despite being an excellent politician, is bats. There’s nothing really to say about that. She will not be elected president.
Moving on. There was a time when Tim Pawlenty was a respectable conservative: one who could be disagreed with but understood. In his first term in MN he pushed for light-rail and a reduction of CO2 emissions in the Midwest–he was considered a national leader in the GOP on climate related issues, helping get the Midwest Energy Infrastructure Accord and other regional initiatives on their feet (there is much on Pawlenty’s objective in the archives of the STrib, which I can’t access at the moment). He did a lot in the state that I could never agree with, especially regarding women’s health issues and education, but I never thought he was a villain.
But then, one day, he just stopped. His interest in the environment and climate seemed to simply disappear. He helped get the MEIA started, but by the time it was ready to roll, Pawlenty was just an empty signature. Before long, Pawlenty was backing the first ever sulfide mining project in Minnesota, run by a company with a reputation for wreaking havoc on the environment and leaving the state to pay for the cleanup. Today, one could never recognize the Former MN Governor as a politician concerned about the environment, let alone a leader on climate change.
Since then, he has been national. Even before Nominee McCain considered Pawlenty as a potential VP-candidate, Gov. Pawlenty had largely checked out of the state’s affairs, taking no responsibility (seriously, none) for the state’s current budget deficit-which may not all fall on Pawlenty’s doorstep, but a whole lot of it does. All this to say, Pawlenty was a good politician, and a guy to be disagreed with. What’s he up to now? Running for president. And since he’s not polling all that well, he’s also wandering the country, embarrassing our state.
I used to worry that Tim Pawlenty was a good enough politician, and smart, and sensible, and appealing enough as a presidential candidate that he would be worth worrying about. Sure, winning the Republican primary would be tough with those characteristics, but in the general election Pawlenty could have a real chance. At least I don’t have to worry about that anymore. As a former Reagan aide put it: Pawlenty’s just “showing he’s not ready for prime time.”