No-Good and Pawlenty


Well, that’s awkward.

News that Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann is considering a presidential bid has not only sparked a mini media frenzy, but it’s rained on the parade of her home state colleague, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty.

Original DVD cover

On the eve of the release of Pawlenty’s memoir, “Courage to Stand” — the subject of an upcoming media blitz that has the all but announced a White House candidate booked on a number of national shows including “Good Morning America,” “The View” and “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart”— the Bachmann trial balloon has the GOP governor and his backers gamely insisting that it’s no big deal at a time when they expected to be reveling in warm publicity surrounding the book rollout.

Pawlenty himself downplayed Bachmann’s possible candidacy issue with a bland response that read as if it were offered through clenched teeth.

“Well, it’s a free country,” he told Politics Daily on Thursday. “Anyone can run that’s over the age of 35. I have respect for Michele Bachmann. I’ve had a cordial and positive relationship with her.”

Other Pawlenty supporters were careful to remain respectful and supportive of the lightning rod conservative, but quickly dismissed the idea that there wasn’t enough room in the race for two Minnesotans — or that Bachmann would have an effect on the Pawlenty’s chances.

The governor’s former chief of staff Charlie Weaver, who has known Bachmann since high school, said he doubted she would abandon her platform in the House.


“Just because they’re from the same state shouldn’t make a shred of difference,” said one source who supports Pawlenty.

“Tim Pawlenty is the real deal,” said Steve Sviggum, former Speaker of the Minnesota House and Pawlenty’s budget commissioner. “He is the real thing. He’s not just a rock star or a flash in the pan.”

Vin Weber, co-chair of Pawlenty’s political action committee Freedom First, said he hopes Bachmann will turn out to be an endorser — not a competitor.


Weber cautioned that all possible GOP contenders — not just Pawlenty — needed to be wary of Bachmann’s upcoming trips to early presidential states like Iowa.

“Her enthusiasm in Iowa is not because she’s from Minnesota,” said Weber, dismissing the notion that Bachmann’s status as a House member from a neighboring state gives her an advantage in Iowa over other Republicans. “It’s because she has a strong appeal to the grass-roots conservative base in the country. It’s wrong-headed to think of her as drawing from Pawlenty because she’s from Minnesota. Michele’s appeal comes from the fact she has become a leader of the tea party movement.”

Minnesota GOP Chairman Tony Sutton, who was careful not to align himself with either politician, warned that no prospective candidate should overlook her prospective candidacy. “Anyone who underestimates her does so at their own peril,” he said. “She’s very savvy and smart.”

Bachmann and Pawlenty hail from different wings of the GOP, with Bachmann distinguishing herself as a tea party favorite and Pawlenty more closely aligned with the business-minded conservative wing. They briefly crossed paths in the state Legislature. More recently, the governor joined a Sarah Palin-headlined rally for Bachmann at the Minneapolis Convention Center in April. Pawlenty and Bachmann also did an anti-abortion fundraiser together one month earlier.

Because of their familiarity, Bachmann’s testing of the waters was a serious slight to the governor, said Larry Jacobs, a political science professor at the University of Minnesota.

“Michele Bachmann delivered a double slap across Pawlenty’s face,” said Jacobs. “In 24 hours, she’s gotten more attention and more electoral traction than Pawlenty’s been able to generate in two years of work. Bachmann has stepped all over Pawlenty’s launch of a book tour and supplanted him as the lead senior Republican in her state.”


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32 responses to “No-Good and Pawlenty

  1. jean-philippe

    The best GOP candidate might be an empty chair.

  2. That’s right there’s no Good ‘N’ Plenty, because there’s not Choo Choo Charlie!

    • i’m dating myself by admitting i remember those commercials.

      i thought you were on vacation, neon vincent. how’re your mom and sister?

      • Hey, I’m dating myself by remembering them, too.

        I got back from vacation late Saturday night, just in time for the news of the shooting. So much for relaxing after the trip!

        My mom and sisters are fine, as are my niece and nephew and both of my brothers-in-law. I also had a great time. Thanks for asking!

  3. And hahahahahahaha! Pawlenty! Second to Bachmann of all people! A loon!

  4. The thing about gopers is they ALL want to be the leader. It must have something to do with the basic authority addict personality of the uber right. Ought to be a regular Moefest down there in Iowa, 30 or 40, maybe 70-80? A hundred or more?? Alan Keyes in 2012!!!

    • they all want to be the leader, but they don’t want to lead. they want the glory, but they don’t want to do the actual work. i think i’ll buy stock in orville redenbacher, because there’ll be plenty of popcorn popping once the idiocy starts in earnest.

  5. jeb

    Not to pull a Bachman and steal the thunder of this wonderful story of two delightful prarie conservatives squaring off for a slap-fest, but Tom DeLay got three years in prison. Being the modest sort and not one to revel in the misfortune of others, I won’t say how I eagerly await the day he begins serving that sentence.

    • no worries about stealing any thunder, jeb. anything pertaining to tom delay going to jail is welcome. however, he’ll go through a hundred appeals before he steps foot in a jail cell. i wonder how long before the other rethugs tire of him and won’t foot the legal bills anymore. i guess when that happens, it will be time for gov. little ricky goodhair to step in, announce that poor widdle tommy has suffered enough, and pardon him.

      • Bugman DeLay can’t possibly have much dough left from his brief stint on Dancing With the Stars, and Texas appeals attorneys never, EVER work pro bono.
        And here’s a newsflash for all your non-Texan readers, DeLay is washed up in Texas because, like the Mafia, once a GOP member is convicted of a felony, they’re on their own.
        As for Prick Perry pardoning him, that won’t happen because Prick is loyal only to his closeted gay self. Ever see him at a GOP national convention making rousing speeches? Hells no!
        He’s become a millionaire as TX governor, and he’s not about to risk losing votes by pardoning that jackass crook Tom Delay.

        • just saw this at the houston chronicle:

          Whether or not DeLay’s appeal succeeds, he has already lost a lot. The indictment by a Travis County grand jury in 2005 forced him from Congress, the long-running litigation has resulted in millions of dollars in legal fees, and the conviction takes away his right to vote. If his appeal does not succeed, DeLay will be ineligible for a gubernatorial pardon for the 10-year term of his probation for money laundering.

          so, he’s not even eligible for a pardon, though it doesn’t say why.

  6. Snoring Dog Studio

    Nonnie’s right. They all want to be the boss of us all, but they show no hint of having leadership qualities. Too many people believe in the “anyone can” notion of being the President. We don’t need just “anyone.” The presidency shouldn’t be turned into the best sideshow at the carny.

    • it will be interesting to see how people react once they get to know more about bronzo the clown. most people have no idea who he is. i don’t think a louder microphone and more time in front of the cameras will serve him well. the same for widdle ewic cantor. i think the same is true for these 2 clowns.

  7. I think that they should bottle and sell Mr. Excitement, and frankly, the interviewer deserves a medal of honor for remaining somewhat upright and awake during that.



    • i think it’s hilarious that little timmeh is trying to rebrand himself as mr. macho. remember the fiasco when he wounded the deer, and hunters were furious with him?

  8. Al

    Hi Nonnie’!
    My Republican nightmare never seems to end….if we don’t have baseball bat weilding candidates running for Governor, or an Alaskan who doesn’t know the difference between Moscow, Idaho and Moscow, Russia, now enters Michelle “open mouth, insert foot” Bachmann…oh, well…it may take another Obama landslide before the Republicans finally get it.
    At any rate, Nonnie’, not your problem if the Republicans continue to implode within….Have a great week!

    • al, not my problem, but you don’t mind if i sit back and enjoy it, do you? 😉 seriously, i wish more republicans were as reasonable and thoughtful as you. they used to be. now, it seems that the same repubs are being shouted down by the fringe. i wish some of them had the guts to stand up to them, and i wish the media was not so mesmerized by the crazies.

      • Al

        Hi Nonnie’!

        lol @ your “you don’t mind if I sit back and enjoy it, do you?” Yes, you are spot on in your accurate assessment of the prevailing winds swirling around the Republicans of late, and you are spot on that it will take a few modern day examples of gutsy “Profiles in Courage” to hit the reset button. Until then, the media will continue to flock to the crazies to confirm the obvious–the Republican Party has been hijacked….President Obama will debate circles around Sarah Palin or Michelle Bachmann if we dare nominate them as our choice in 2012, and, please let me be clear, not ’cause they are women, but ’cause they simply are mere caricatures of the crazies (hate or ridicule is not leadership).

        • it’s really very sad. i wish that there were some present-day howard bakers. instead, like you said, there are just caricatures running. u didn’t think the bar could be lowered much lower, but the teabaggers have managed to do that in spectacular fashion.