Video: Pawlenty calls for end of ethanol subsidies — in Iowa

posted at 5:30 pm on May 23, 2011 by Allahpundit

Ed touched on this earlier, I know, but it deserves a post of its own. Man, if the “boring” candidate in the race is willing to be this bold in front of the hometown crowd, I can’t imagine what the “exciting” candidates will do.

The early read on this move is that it’s a smart play for him politically. I agree with that — from a macro standpoint. But there are people who will tell you that Pawlenty has no chance if he doesn’t finish strong in Iowa, in which case … is his campaign now DOA?

Pawlenty is, in theory, strongly positioned in Iowa. He’s from a neighboring state, he’s been working it on the ground, and as an evangelical, he has the right profile to appeal to social conservatives there. “He has real credibility on the social issues and a faith testimony that will resonate among the grassroots,” a prominent social conservative says.

Yet there’s potential trouble on the launching pad. Rep. Michele Bachmann is also from Minnesota and has a strong bond with social conservatives and tea-party backers. Her fundraising machine, even before it’s ginned up during a presidential run, is formidable. If she gets in, she could easily steal Pawlenty’s thunder in Iowa and deal a severe blow to his candidacy.

A Republican donor who supports Mitt Romney puts the most dire spin on it: “There is no plausible path to the GOP nomination for Pawlenty absent a win in Iowa. Thus, Bachmann poses an existential threat to T-Paw.”

I can picture three scenarios where T-Paw wins the nomination after losing Iowa. One: If Palin or some other grassroots candidate with a real chance to win the nomination jumps in and takes the state by storm, the GOP establishment will panic and might rally behind Pawlenty before New Hampshire on the assumption that only he has a chance of beating the Iowa winner in South Carolina. Two: If Pawlenty earns the endorsements of enough prominent establishment conservatives — Mitch Daniels, Haley Barbour, Jeb Bush, etc — it could boost his profile to the point where he comes back to win indie-minded New Hampshire no matter what happens in Iowa. (Given Romney’s huge fundraising advantage, T-Paw might not be viable without those endorsements anyway.) Three: Huckabee could endorse him before Iowa, which might lock up enough social conservative votes to undo any damage from his ethanol heresy. All of those scenarios are dodgy, though; he’s taking a huge risk, needless to say, by giving a hard dose of fiscal reality to a crucial state he’s actually well positioned to win, especially now that Huck’s out. Ace is right that if Pawlenty goes on to lose the caucuses, he can now spin the defeat not as a case of him underperforming but of having been punished for being a truth-teller. But that’ll be a cold comfort when he then has to move on to New Hampshire to face Romney, who’ll have spent a ton of money there, and Huntsman, who’ll probably be camped out there for the better part of the next eight months.

That said, like most of you (I assume), I respect him more today than I did yesterday, which of course was the whole point of this move. T-Paw’s macro strategy here is straightforward: He needs to balance his appeal to the center as an electable, non-bombthrowing Republican with his appeal to the base as a conservative who’ll stand fast for core principles as president. His argument on the first part of that was already solid — Huntsman is too far to the center to win the nomination, in all likelihood, and Romney has all sorts of baggage that could keep too many base voters home in the general election. His argument on the second part is weaker, especially if a grassroots favorite like Palin jumps in. Forced to choose between someone like T-Paw who seems more electable but less confrontational and someone like Palin who’s perceived as the opposite, many base voters will opt for the latter on the theory that they’d rather stick with someone whom they know will fight for principle and let the electoral chips fall where they may. Pawlenty’s ethanol gambit forces them to rethink that by posing the following question: If he’s willing to confront Iowa voters about their little ethanol gravy train in the name of fiscal responsibility — even though his candidacy probably depends on winning the state — then who wouldn’t he be willing to confront? He’s got guts. I’m not so sure about his risk-assessment skills, but he’s playing to win. Click the image to watch.


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He was pretty solid on Limbaugh today – and even remarked that he’s going to discuss entitlement reform in Florida. The man’s all-in on this truth-teller business. I hope it works out for him.

His speeches have the potential to be both groaners and full of pandering, but much more of this and he just might lock me up.

KingGold on May 23, 2011 at 5:34 PM

Now he can write off a poor showing in Iowa by blaming the methanol junkies there.

pedestrian on May 23, 2011 at 5:34 PM

Good move.

I hope this starts a trend.

tetriskid on May 23, 2011 at 5:35 PM

More “Iowa is the most important primary in the whole world!” crap. What baloney.

I like the message though, he has my attention.

BierManVA on May 23, 2011 at 5:35 PM

oh yess. if T-Paw will stand up to ethanol subsidy addicted Iowan caucus voters/lobbyists and the TBTF that bought Obama, then he has me lock, stock and barrel.

if the rest of the Tea Party follows suit, maybe we can compensate for the lobbying bundlers of big $$ that floated Obama to the top last time.

ginaswo on May 23, 2011 at 5:36 PM

Good move by T-Paw.

He’ll probably lose the nomination by being honest, but it’s time to give us the goods.

rickyricardo on May 23, 2011 at 5:37 PM

the GOP establishment will panic

What??? People were telling me here yesterday that there is no such thing as this “GOP establishment”.

pseudoforce on May 23, 2011 at 5:38 PM

I think Pawlenty is close to locking in my support. I still need ton see him in a debate with Romney.

terryannonline on May 23, 2011 at 5:38 PM

Nice.

Keep it up T-Paw. You are my “playing it safe” pick for the Nomination.

portlandon on May 23, 2011 at 5:39 PM

“…..and I’ll call for end to subsidies for ethanol!”

(pssstt….Tim! This is Iowa, not New Hampshire…thats next weeks’ speech…..)

BobMbx on May 23, 2011 at 5:39 PM

I like the honesty, but I am still disturbed by his apparent progressive policies. Still waiting for a T-Paw supporter to provide some clarification on these accusations leveled by the Palin supporters.

csdeven on May 23, 2011 at 5:40 PM

A Republican donor who supports Mitt Romney puts the most dire spin on it:“There is no plausible path to the GOP nomination for Pawlenty absent a win in Iowa.”

Is he speaking from experience with Romney? Even so, Huck won and he didn’t get the nomination in 2008.

darclon on May 23, 2011 at 5:41 PM

(pssstt….Tim! This is Iowa, not New Hampshire…thats next weeks’ speech…..)

BobMbx on May 23, 2011 at 5:39 PM

No, the New Hampshire speech is going to contain something about Bostonians fleeing to Nashua to escape health-care waiting lists.

KingGold on May 23, 2011 at 5:41 PM

Can the other candidates still support ethanol subsidies without appearing less serious than Pawlenty about cutting spending? It will be interesting to see how Palin and Bachmann now handle the ethanol issue in Iowa if they run.

Mark1971 on May 23, 2011 at 5:43 PM

There really does need to be a different order of primary states every four years, the same ones getting to pick the candidates over and over is a practice that needs to end.

clearbluesky on May 23, 2011 at 5:43 PM

I like the honesty, but I am still disturbed by his apparent progressive policies. Still waiting for a T-Paw supporter to provide some clarification on these accusations leveled by the Palin supporters.

csdeven on May 23, 2011 at 5:40 PM

What are talking about? Pawlenty is a pretty conventional conservative.

terryannonline on May 23, 2011 at 5:43 PM

“The hard truth is that there’s no longer any sacred programs. The truth about federal energy subsidies, including federal subsidies for ethanol, is that they have to be phased out. We need to do it gradually. We need to do it fairly. But we need to do it.”

Well said, TIMMEH!

Abby Adams on May 23, 2011 at 5:43 PM

Pawlenty pumps ethanol

steebo77 on May 23, 2011 at 5:44 PM

Quit putting our food in our gas tanks…

Wade on May 23, 2011 at 5:44 PM

he’s taking a huge risk, needless to say, by giving a hard dose of fiscal reality to a crucial state he’s actually well positioned to win, especially now that Huck’s out

Isn’t Borempty running neck and neck with the margin of error in Iowa and the rest of the country?

Falz on May 23, 2011 at 5:44 PM

Don’t know if anyone else is sick of Romney people, but I cannot stand them. They will say and do anything to undercut other candidates. We saw how Romney backstabbed McCain so why would he think we wouldn’t remember. He promised one thing and did another. Typical Romney — his bots were on various sites with the same crap taking on Pawlenty today.

This from the same campaign that in 2008 would only take questions at Town Halls from local staffers or Mormons. He is a non-starter and you would think he would get a clue that the base is not impressed with a Mass Moderate Republican.

PhiKapMom on May 23, 2011 at 5:45 PM

Pawlenty solidifies his position as my 3rd backup choice.

His biggest problems? Boredom & Romney, two issues he will have a hard time getting rid of.

Norwegian on May 23, 2011 at 5:47 PM

steebo77 on May 23, 2011 at 5:44 PM

glad you’re doing a full days work by dumping your slanted oppo research in a number of threads. You’re either a dailykook, or a Palinkook, either way you’re a kook.

IR-MN on May 23, 2011 at 5:47 PM

For the record, anytime a government body gives a company any money at all, it is a subsidy, even if a contract for a good or a service is involved.

BobMbx on May 23, 2011 at 5:47 PM

If he’s willing to confront Iowa voters about their little ethanol gravy train in the name of fiscal responsibility — even though his candidacy probably depends on winning the state — then who wouldn’t he be willing to confront?

It also paints him into a corner in that he can’t really start picking and choosing which subsidy or which corporate largesse he opposes. So I hope he is ready for going whole hog on this.

I’ll note that if he intends to go whole hog, I’ll be whole hog for him.

Dusty on May 23, 2011 at 5:48 PM

Minnesota Governor Doubles Ethanol Goal

steebo77 on May 23, 2011 at 5:48 PM

steebo, people can have a change of heart. Ethanol didn’t work. He endorsed these things 6 years ago. The last comment said that the government was regulating too much.

andy85719 on May 23, 2011 at 5:49 PM

He’s the first declared candidate to so far not stick his foot in his mouth or his thumb in the eye of the base. He’s off to a good start based on that alone.

Lawdawg86 on May 23, 2011 at 5:49 PM

Wow. That grabbed my attention.

G. Charles on May 23, 2011 at 5:49 PM

P-Money!!

El_Terrible on May 23, 2011 at 5:49 PM

steebo77 on May 23, 2011 at 5:45 PM

I suppose it makes Pawlenty all that more gutsy to oppose ethanol subsidies then.

Steebo for Pawlenty!

Abby Adams on May 23, 2011 at 5:49 PM

Good move by Pawlenty, he has been searching for a political identity and hopefully he has to decided to fight for the Christie/Daniels faction by becoming the tough-love fiscal hawk.

Raisedbywolves on May 23, 2011 at 5:50 PM

glad you’re doing a full days work by dumping your slanted oppo research in a number of threads. You’re either a dailykook, or a Palinkook, either way you’re a kook.

IR-MN on May 23, 2011 at 5:47 PM

Not a kook. I just don’t have my head in the sand about Pawlenty’s record like everyone else seems to all of a sudden.

steebo77 on May 23, 2011 at 5:50 PM

What are talking about? Pawlenty is a pretty conventional conservative.

terryannonline on May 23, 2011 at 5:43 PM

Not really.

Pawlenty has been Govenor of MN… so he has backed ethanol and Global Warming for a long long time.

This is a big flip flop. He is finally coming around because he sees that it is unpopular and doesn’t work.

His opponents will be able to use it against him.

tetriskid on May 23, 2011 at 5:50 PM

Good for Pawlenty! That increases his stock in my book. I think that with the high price of corn perhaps the drawdown should be front-loaded as it seems like this would be the idea time to reduce the subsidy.

FloatingRock on May 23, 2011 at 5:50 PM

Not my #1 but big tip of the hat for facing a problem, and making a decision. He’s out of the gate and trying for the rail in the first turn.

Limerick on May 23, 2011 at 5:51 PM

Some free campaign advice for T-Paw: Publically reject and humiliate the “conservative” pundits in DC (Brooks, Will, etc). Their continued support for your campaign hurts your chances with me and many others.

Norwegian on May 23, 2011 at 5:52 PM

If his only liability is comments about ethanol he made seven years ago and a stupid comment about “the end of small government” he made years ago, then he has the fewest problems of anyone. Other candidates like Romney and Palin and Huntsman and Bachmann and Santorum and are saddled with BAGGAGE. Cain is accumulating some baggage with recent comments about the debt ceiling.

andy85719 on May 23, 2011 at 5:52 PM

Hey steebo, how about you just give us the link for the Google search of “Tim + Pawlenty + governor + Minnesota + ethanol + federal + government” instead.

Lawdawg86 on May 23, 2011 at 5:53 PM

He endorsed these things 6 years ago. The last comment said that the government was regulating too much.

andy85719 on May 23, 2011 at 5:49 PM

August 5, 2010:

Pawlenty also said that government should continue to play a role in biofuel development, such as ethanol and biodiesel.

Talking to reporters later, Pawlenty said that as ethanol payments are ending, a decade after they began, direct subsidies to farmers that helped launch the industry no longer are needed. He said the current ones should continue, to fulfill the state’s promise to farmers, but now the government needs to concentrate on things such as funding research.

Federal money helped fund research that led to the nuclear power industry, Pawlenty said, and that is an appropriate use of state and federal money as biofuels enter their next generation.</blockquote>

steebo77 on May 23, 2011 at 5:53 PM

Did Pawlenty get a sex change operation?i want to know where he got the “parts”. Nice to see a male Republican politician step up to the plate.

heshtesh on May 23, 2011 at 5:53 PM

[Dusty on May 23, 2011 at 5:48 PM]

I’ll also note it’s going to be a freaking minefield for him, too, because the MFM/MBM will be going after him with every conceivable way of describing something as a subsidy. So not only will he need to go whole hog, he’ll also need to punch back hard and immediately at the fictitious subsidies that they’ll manufacture, e.g., big oil write-offs, etc.

Dusty on May 23, 2011 at 5:53 PM

Hey steebo, how about you just give us the link for the Google search of “Tim + Pawlenty + governor + Minnesota + ethanol + federal + government” instead.

Lawdawg86 on May 23, 2011 at 5:53 PM

I would, but it seems a lot of people around here have recently forgotten how to use Google.

steebo77 on May 23, 2011 at 5:53 PM

glad you’re doing a full days work by dumping your slanted oppo research in a number of threads. You’re either a dailykook, or a Palinkook, either way you’re a kook.

IR-MN on May 23, 2011 at 5:47 PM

I guess some of us think its A Time for Truth. The good, the bad and the ugly so we can all make an educated decision.

sharrukin on May 23, 2011 at 5:54 PM

Big Corn

faraway on May 23, 2011 at 5:54 PM

August 6, 2009:

Pawlenty praises ethanol, wind turbines at Farmfest
The governor also told Farmfest attendees that rising subsidized health care costs impede government’s ability to help farmers.

steebo77 on May 23, 2011 at 5:56 PM

I guess some of us think its A Time for Truth. The good, the bad and the ugly so we can all make an educated decision.

sharrukin on May 23, 2011 at 5:54 PM

Ouch…

the_nile on May 23, 2011 at 5:56 PM

The government frequently funds such research in the interest of national security. Hello, we are addicted to oil. That doesn’t mean he wants giveaways and pork. The nuclear power point is excellent. Once/If biofuels become commercially viable, we can phase out federal involvement.

andy85719 on May 23, 2011 at 5:56 PM

I would, but it seems a lot of people around here have recently forgotten how to use Google.

steebo77 on May 23, 2011 at 5:53 PM

Luckily, there’s an app for that:

http://lmgtfy.com/?q=Gov.+Tim+Pawlenty+Minnesota+ethanol+federal+government

:D

Lawdawg86 on May 23, 2011 at 5:56 PM

glad you’re doing a full days work by dumping your slanted oppo research in a number of threads. You’re either a dailykook, or a Palinkook, either way you’re a kook.

IR-MN on May 23, 2011 at 5:47 PM

It’s called “vetting”.

pseudoforce on May 23, 2011 at 5:57 PM

His opponents will be able to use it against him.

tetriskid on May 23, 2011 at 5:50 PM

You mean all those opponents who are against “alternative” energy sources? Like who?

Hollowpoint on May 23, 2011 at 5:57 PM

I would, but it seems a lot of people around here have recently forgotten how to use Google.

steebo77 on May 23, 2011 at 5:53 PM

touche

John the Libertarian on May 23, 2011 at 5:58 PM

steebo77 on May 23, 2011 at 5:53 PM

That’s another tipical case of flip floping

Falz on May 23, 2011 at 5:58 PM

Is he serious or pandering to a larger primary eletorate outside of Iowa? He may let Bachman or Palin “have” Iowa while keeping his name front and center.

SouthernGent on May 23, 2011 at 5:58 PM

Good move by T-Paw!..:)

Dire Straits on May 23, 2011 at 5:59 PM

Other candidates like Romney and Palin and Huntsman and Bachmann and Santorum and are saddled with BAGGAGE.

andy85719 on May 23, 2011 at 5:52 PM

That’s because Pawlenty’s been flying under the radar so low that he hasn’t accumulated BAGGAGE. Now let’s see how he holds up under a smidgen of Palinization.

pseudoforce on May 23, 2011 at 6:00 PM

You mean all those opponents who are against “alternative” energy sources? Like who?

Hollowpoint on May 23, 2011 at 5:57 PM

Why would someone be against ‘alternate’ energy sources?

We all want alternatives that are cost effective and actually work. Making corn into fuel isn’t one of them and its has consequences that make it even less attractive.

sharrukin on May 23, 2011 at 6:00 PM

real conservative will appreciate the bravery of TPaw on this. Speaking truth to power is tough. Ethanol is a rather immoral exercise given the food crises that are starting to be felt.

Now, he must tell many other truths. The big one is that the party is over. The eviro-freaks, and all the assorted halfwits that opine on this or that for personal gain (under the rubric of “the common good”) must be exposed for who they are.

Ultimately, this will be an ugly affair since the majority of our body politic is “bought” by various interest groups. I for one am impressed that TPaw did it.

r keller on May 23, 2011 at 6:01 PM

Is he serious or pandering to a larger primary eletorate outside of Iowa?

SouthernGent on May 23, 2011 at 5:58 PM

Probably a little of both.

pseudoforce on May 23, 2011 at 6:02 PM

Pawlenty has been Govenor of MN… so he has backed ethanol and Global Warming for a long long time.

This is a big flip flop. He is finally coming around because he sees that it is unpopular and doesn’t work.

His opponents will be able to use it against him.

[tetriskid on May 23, 2011 at 5:50 PM]

I won’t hold either of those previous positions against him or most anyone else in politics back in the first half of the decade. AGW and one of it’s associate remedies Ethanol had traveled the globe three times before the truth about it being an elaborate hoax and bad science had a chance to get it’s pants on. That he has come around on the issue, or seems to have, as the truth has gotten out, is more than good enough for me considering the belief in the hoax still captures the minds of a significant % of people.

Dusty on May 23, 2011 at 6:02 PM

between his performance at the first debate, his editorial this morning and his roll-out today in Iowa I’ve moved from Tim who to almost being ready to get out the check-book. He doesn’t have my vote locked in yet but I like what I see.

PrincipleStand on May 23, 2011 at 6:03 PM

Ultimately, this will be an ugly affair since the majority of our body politic is “bought” by various interest groups. I for one am impressed that TPaw did it.

r keller on May 23, 2011 at 6:01 PM

He’s at about 3%. He doesn’t have much to lose.

pseudoforce on May 23, 2011 at 6:03 PM

He’s at about 3%. He doesn’t have much to lose.

pseudoforce on May 23, 2011 at 6:03 PM

It could be a Hail Mary for him.

the_nile on May 23, 2011 at 6:05 PM

It’s a start. We’ll see.

alwaysfiredup on May 23, 2011 at 6:07 PM

T-Paw looks to have to together a very good staff!..:)

Dire Straits on May 23, 2011 at 6:07 PM

So, is someone paying steebo77 to spam the threads, or is he irritating us for free?

Slublog on May 23, 2011 at 6:08 PM

He’s getting my attention.

Tasha on May 23, 2011 at 6:08 PM

Why didn’t Pawlenty articulate his strong position (if it
is in fact strong, I haven’t seen/read what he said)
before?

Answer: He wasn’t running for President before!!!!

He is only playing “tough guy”. He left his state billions
of dollar in the red, supported tax ‘n tax, then flip flopped, supported automotive taxes by the mile, support for interest free Sharia friendly loan program, supported
Michelle Obama’s food police, raised Minnesota property taxes to record levels.

Amjean on May 23, 2011 at 6:08 PM

Nothing anyone can say will change the fact that as recently as 9 months ago Pawlenty was shilling for ethanol. I would like to belive he is sincere in today’s call for an end to subsidies, but it reeks of political posturing. My guess is that some political consultants told him this would be a great way to gain recognition and differentiate himself from the rest of the pack.

steebo77 on May 23, 2011 at 6:09 PM

steebo77,

You’re the kind of self-immolating conservative that drags us all down at election time.

Every election is about choosing the best among the options, not finding “the perfect candidate”. Perfection doesn’t exist.

You can link all the oppo research you want, and then I can do the same for your guy. (You do have a candidate you favor, or are you an all-out nihilist?) But where does that get us?

All-or-nothing-ism is dead. It lets the know-nothings who vote for the guy they heard of the most decide our elections. And that’s how we got McCain in ’08 and how we’ll end up with Romney if you have your way.

If you want to make your case that your guy is more pure or better in other ways, then make it. Otherwise, step aside while the grown-ups talk.

Nessuno on May 23, 2011 at 6:09 PM

Even if biofuel did work, are you willing to trade lower energy prices for higher food prices?

This seems like poor policy, at best.

Scott H on May 23, 2011 at 6:09 PM

So, is someone paying steebo77 to spam the threads, or is he irritating us for free?

Slublog on May 23, 2011 at 6:08 PM

It’s just an alternate point of view. Granted he could put all the links in one post, but it’s not like we haven’t seen copy-and-paste links to the Alaska budget ad nauseam.

pseudoforce on May 23, 2011 at 6:10 PM

It’s a start. We’ll see.

alwaysfiredup on May 23, 2011 at 6:07 PM

Not fired up eh?

Lawdawg86 on May 23, 2011 at 6:10 PM

So, is someone paying steebo77 to spam the threads, or is he irritating us for free?

Slublog on May 23, 2011 at 6:08 PM

I’m sorry you find the truth (something Pawlenty claims to hold dear) irritating.

steebo77 on May 23, 2011 at 6:10 PM

He is only playing “tough guy”. He left his state billions
of dollar in the red, supported tax ‘n tax, then flip flopped, supported automotive taxes by the mile, support for interest free Sharia friendly loan program, supported
Michelle Obama’s food police, raised Minnesota property taxes to record levels.

Amjean on May 23, 2011 at 6:08 PM

Bingo!

idesign on May 23, 2011 at 6:11 PM

“…like most of you (I assume), I respect him more today than I did yesterday, which of course was the whole point of this move.”

You presumed correctly…

Seven Percent Solution on May 23, 2011 at 6:11 PM

It’s just an alternate point of view. Granted he could put all the links in one post, but it’s not like we haven’t seen copy-and-paste links to the Alaska budget ad nauseam.

pseudoforce on May 23, 2011 at 6:10 PM

I would have consolidated the links, but then the filter would have eaten my posts. I’m not trying to spam or be annoying–I just find this flip-flop to be rather brazen on T-Paw’s part.

steebo77 on May 23, 2011 at 6:11 PM

You can link all the oppo research you want, and then I can do the same for your guy.

Isn’t this topic about TPaw? Isn’t he fair game? Your argument is silly.

faraway on May 23, 2011 at 6:11 PM

steebo77,

You’re the kind of self-immolating conservative that drags us all down at election time.

Every election is about choosing the best among the options, not finding “the perfect candidate”. Perfection doesn’t exist.

You can link all the oppo research you want, and then I can do the same for your guy. (You do have a candidate you favor, or are you an all-out nihilist?) But where does that get us?

All-or-nothing-ism is dead. It lets the know-nothings who vote for the guy they heard of the most decide our elections. And that’s how we got McCain in ’08 and how we’ll end up with Romney if you have your way.

If you want to make your case that your guy is more pure or better in other ways, then make it. Otherwise, step aside while the grown-ups talk.

Nessuno on May 23, 2011 at 6:09 PM

I’m saving this one for the next Palin thread.

pseudoforce on May 23, 2011 at 6:11 PM

Good for Pawlenty, but the $64,000 questions remain: Is Palin getting in? If so, when?

BuckeyeSam on May 23, 2011 at 6:11 PM

Couple of things:

The ethanol “subsidy” isn’t really a subsidy, but a tax credit. Aren’t Republican’s all about taxpayers keeping more of their money? I agree about all corporate subsidies need to go and we need a president that unwinds the incestuous relationship between the government and companies. When you have the education department being investigating for violating insider trading laws, there is a problem. This won’t happen, though. Politicians need money to get elected and companies and corporate big wigs are the ones with the money.

Also, it is a lot easier to campaign on fiscal responsibility, but much, much, much more difficult to govern on fiscal responsibility. All these Tea Partiers and Republicans that are talking about cutting spending and less government mean cut someone else spending. As soon as you cut theirs too, it’s a whole different ball game. All the polls have shown that when you start talking about specifics on what should be cut, the majority of people don’t want any government programs cut. They don’t mind cutting foreign aid, as if that is going to balance our budget.

They might like what T-Paw has to say, but they won’t like when he delivers on it. I actually think this is the reason most of these guys (Daniels, Huckabee, Barbour) have taken a pass on the Presidency. While they know the atmosphere is ripe for the small government crowd, they know they will never actually be able to achieve it…so why set themselves up for failure?

ramrants on May 23, 2011 at 6:12 PM

OT But I have to warn you all that the end is near. We don’t have to worry about energy independence, the presidential election, national security, or Michelle O’s latest fashion flub. Harold Camping has nothing over Ahmadaboutjihad. The 12th imam is set to appear covertly on June 5.
http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/ahmadinejad%e2%80%99s-team-expects-arrival-of-12th-imam-on-june-5/?singlepage=true

onlineanalyst on May 23, 2011 at 6:13 PM

You’re the kind of self-immolating conservative that drags us all down at election time.

Shame on me for caring about the facts, I guess.

Every election is about choosing the best among the options, not finding “the perfect candidate”. Perfection doesn’t exist.

Nessuno on May 23, 2011 at 6:09 PM

I agree. There are no perfect candidates. But how will we choose the best if we don’t have all of the facts and accept every politician at their word? Am I wrong?

steebo77 on May 23, 2011 at 6:13 PM

steebo: If he’s going to posture politically, don’t you think he’d do it to his advantage?

With that track record of backing ethanol subsidies, no one could blame him for going into Iowa backing them, from a political standpoint.

Sure, he’s saying what the base wants to hear. About the only way that makes electoral sense in the primary is that if he’s hoping to convince Palin to support him rather than run herself.

If Palin enters, she and Cain suck up the base vote. Why is Pawlenty (with his track record) trying to fight them for it?

This is, of course, contingent on this being a political ploy. If he means what he says, then there’s no problem… is there?

Scott H on May 23, 2011 at 6:13 PM

I find it odd that local news articles from Pawlenty’s tenure as Governor are all somehow “slanted oppo research” and considered off limits.

steebo77 on May 23, 2011 at 6:14 PM

I’m sorry you find the truth (something Pawlenty claims to hold dear) irritating.

As Spock would say, “Only Nixon could go to China.”

Slublog on May 23, 2011 at 6:15 PM

Also, another point. Didn’t Republicans change their rules that makes Iowa and New Hampshire less important to win. Something about any elections before April 1 wouldn’t have the “winner takes all”?

Do I have that wrong?

ramrants on May 23, 2011 at 6:15 PM

ramrants on May 23, 2011 at 6:12 PM

Overall a very good post!!..:)

PS..Folks will not like it when it is their ox is getting gored!..:)

Dire Straits on May 23, 2011 at 6:15 PM

This is, of course, contingent on this being a political ploy. If he means what he says, then there’s no problem… is there?

Scott H on May 23, 2011 at 6:13 PM

Not at all. I hope he means what he’s saying. But I sure would like to hear someone ask him questions about his past (as recent as 9 months ago) support for ethanol.

steebo77 on May 23, 2011 at 6:16 PM

This is, of course, contingent on this being a political ploy. If he means what he says, then there’s no problem… is there?

Scott H on May 23, 2011 at 6:13 PM

Well, you have to compare his past attitudes toward ethanol subsidies, which was the point of all the links.

pseudoforce on May 23, 2011 at 6:16 PM

steebo77,

You’re the kind of self-immolating conservative that drags us all down at election time.

Every election is about choosing the best among the options, not finding “the perfect candidate”. Perfection doesn’t exist.

You can link all the oppo research you want, and then I can do the same for your guy. (You do have a candidate you favor, or are you an all-out nihilist?) But where does that get us?

All-or-nothing-ism is dead. It lets the know-nothings who vote for the guy they heard of the most decide our elections. And that’s how we got McCain in ’08 and how we’ll end up with Romney if you have your way.

If you want to make your case that your guy is more pure or better in other ways, then make it. Otherwise, step aside while the grown-ups talk.

Nessuno on May 23, 2011 at 6:09 PM

You are the errant child throwing a tantrum because the
facts don’t support your viewpoint. Pawlenty gave a speech at an ethanol conference, doubled ethanol usage in Minnesota for autos; now that he is running for president
he is now against the ethanol program that is in place?
Say “hypocritical flipflopper” a hundred times. This is
a manufactured position only because he is running for president.

Amjean on May 23, 2011 at 6:16 PM

He’s getting my attention.

Tasha on May 23, 2011 at 6:08 PM

Same here, and it’s just day one of the official campaign.
Did you hear the interview with Rush Limbaugh?
Very articulate and clean sounding.

mike_NC9 on May 23, 2011 at 6:16 PM

steebo: Well, I believe there’s a known issue with the Star-Tribune, no? (Not saying all the research is from there.)

That’s akin to asking the NYT their opinions on anything conservative.

Scott H on May 23, 2011 at 6:17 PM

steebo: Well, I believe there’s a known issue with the Star-Tribune, no? (Not saying all the research is from there.)

That’s akin to asking the NYT their opinions on anything conservative.

Scott H on May 23, 2011 at 6:17 PM

But it’s media. I asked for a copy of the speech from which the reference to the David Brooks article was pulled. I haven’t come up with anything yet.

It’s just vetting, folks.

pseudoforce on May 23, 2011 at 6:19 PM

steebo: Well, I believe there’s a known issue with the Star-Tribune, no? (Not saying all the research is from there.)

That’s akin to asking the NYT their opinions on anything conservative.

Scott H on May 23, 2011 at 6:17 PM

I’m aware of the issue. But that doesn’t change the facts–that Pawlenty mandated a doubling of ethanol usage in Minnesota, that he headlined an ethanol group’s conference, that he’s gone on international trade missions to promote Minnesotan ethanol, or that he backed subsidies in the past.

steebo77 on May 23, 2011 at 6:19 PM

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