“Mania” might be overstating it a tad, but Tim Pawlenty is the first big-ish name to sort of announce for an election that’s quickly approaching. By "quickly"--I mean we only have two world series and their entire accompanying seasons first—and then BOOM—it's election time.
As Pat and I talked about on The 4th Hour the other day, we’re so early in the process that we’re just sitting in the bar, staring across the smoky and dark room, trying to tell if anyone in there is even mildly attractive. When you get close they might have some literal or figurative warts, but there’s plenty of time to notice that. Yup, they’re all going to have problems, but let’s be crazy and spend thirty seconds on the positives for once.
One early Pawlenty-Positive seems to be his ability to handle generally hostile and annoying media members, which is a skill that just might come in handy as a republican nominee. Take a few minutes and watch him easily handle Jon Stewart here.
And here is the an early version of the case to consider Pawlenty from National Review. One of the big complaints about him is his past support for Cap-and-Trade. Again, I have absolutely no idea if I can trust him yet, but I do like the way he handled it.
For most conservatives, the biggest blot on Pawlenty’s record is his past support for cap-and-trade. He does not try to finesse the issue. “It’s fair to say I’ve had a change of position and change of view, and the reason is it’s a dumb idea,” he tells NR. “It was a mistake.” All public officials have a few “clunkers” in their record, he says, expressing the hope that voters will appreciate a straightforward acknowledgment of error. He adds, “I think my clunkers are fewer than others’.” This particular clunker is widely shared. Gingrich, Palin, Romney, and Mike Huckabee all once supported cap-and-trade — although not all of them are as candid as Pawlenty about their switch.
If Mitt Romney had done this with RomneyCare a few years ago, he’d be the overwhelming favorite for the nomination right now. He also might have been President of the United States already.
Of course, at the end of the day, everyone at the bar will be ugly—we’ll keep pounding shots—and we’ll all end up in the voting booth, completely hammered, stumbling around trying to pick the lever that doesn’t say Obama. Then we get a four year hangover. I can't wait for 2012!