Green Room

T-Paw to Give Keynote at Tea Party Patriots Policy Summit

posted at 1:01 pm on February 18, 2011 by

He may not “officially” be a candidate for President, but former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty is certainly making the rounds. One of his next high profile stops will include being invited to be the keynote speaker at this year’s Tea Party Patriots’ meeting for the American Policy Summit, February 25-27.

PHOENIX, AZ — Tea Party Patriots, the nation’s largest grassroots organization, today announced that Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty will be a keynote speaker at its first-annual national policy conference in Phoenix, Arizona, February 25-27. The Tea Party Patriots’ American Policy Summit – Pathways to Liberty will bring tea party supporters, national speakers, 2012 presidential candidates and public policy analysts together for briefings, discussions and policy debates.

As previously announced, Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) and Georgia businessman Herman Cain will be among the other presidential hopefuls to address the gathering.

As I’ve stated before, I think Pawlenty does best when he eschews the red meat, cheerleading role and sticks to policy challenges and solutions. It’s his strong point. (Assuming any of this year’s crop of candidates can be said to have a strong point.) And this is probably a custom made forum for Tim to show off his policy chops.

Of course, he’s still looked at as one of the dark horses in the race, and all of them are going to need to find opportunities to boost their name recognition, gravitas and find opportunities to shine in the national media spotlight. Plenty of such occasions will present themselves over the Spring and Summer.

But there are clearly people taking Pawlenty seriously as a contender already. The next issue of National Review will feature a cover story on T-Paw. (Here’s a picture of the cover.) You’ll need to pick up a copy for the whole thing, but here’s a bit of a teaser from the upcoming article.

Pawlenty to Like: The former Minnesota governor could be a strong presidential candidate
by Ramesh Ponnuru

As Pawlenty prepares to run for the Republican nomination for president, his main problem is simple: Most Americans have never heard of him. Republicans tend to prefer known commodities: Every winner of the Republican nomination in the last 70 years had a national reputation a year before the primaries. The Courage to Stand is not selling well. Yet Pawlenty may just be the Republicans’ strongest presidential candidate for 2012. Compared with his competitors, he is either more conservative, more electable, or both…

Larry Jacobs, who studies politics at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School, comments, “In Minnesota, Pawlenty was always seen as the state’s most charismatic and politically talented politician. Here’s a guy who was a conservative fending off often large Democratic majorities and [he] consistently had over 50 percent approval and dominated public debate. He had a remarkable knack for appealing to people on non-political grounds. . . . Mostly it was the way he talked about public policy and politics. People who fundamentally disagreed with him on public policy found him appealing.”

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