- JULY 8, 2011
Beyond Minnesota Nice
Republican presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty brags that as governor he stared down Democrats on taxes and spending, but can he sell it to conservative voters?
By KIMBERLEY A. STRASSEL
- Ask Mitt Romney to opine about his time managing a blue state, and the former Massachusetts governor will mostly take a pass. Ask Tim Pawlenty about his recent tenure governing liberal Minnesota, and you could be listening for hours.
If Mr. Pawlenty sees a path to the Republican presidential nomination, it’s increasingly through the Land of 10,000 Lakes. Running in a highly conservative primary as the former head of a proudly liberal state—one perpetually beset by economic woes—certainly holds its downsides. But Mr. Pawlenty isn’t shying away from that past. He’s intent on turning his own feisty leadership of Minnesota into his main selling point for the nomination.
Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty
This has become all the more clear this past week, as the Minnesota government shut down over a budget impasse. The focus instantly turned to Mr. Pawlenty, highlighting the risks his time as governor (which ended earlier this year) holds for his run. (more…)