During my time away from blogging, the 2012 Republican Primary started. It didn’t start with presumptive frontrunner Mitt Romney (disclosure: JBdotC is Romney Country). It started when Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, while criticizing ObamaCare, made it a point to make a few digs at the government run health care system in Massachusetts. BTW, did you know that Romney was the former governor of Massachusetts and it was his plan? If you don’t now, I’m sure you will come time for the Iowa caucus.
I find this slightly amusing, because a few months ago I was kibitzing with my token lefty friend aboot 2012 and said that it all depended on how the first two years goes for Obama as to whether we run a Ronald Regan or a Walter Mondale against him…with Romney in the Reagan role and Pawlenty as the sacrificial Mondale.
Regardless, Pawlenty is out giving speeches, and each one is being treated as his audition for the “big stage.” For example, his recent schpeil at the GOPAC conference in Chicago…
In addition, Pawlenty test drove some potential messages for his rumored presidential campaign, speaking forcefully on education reform and broadly going through a check list of some of the GOP’s stalwart issues, including national security.
“We have an educational system in the United States that isn’t cash for clunkers, it’s clash for flunkers,” he said. “This idea in this country that anyone is forced to go to a bad school is disgraceful.”
“This is the civil rights issue of our time,” he said, describing the plight of inner city schools and urging the state lawmakers in the crowd to address the lower performances of schools in some of their states more depressed areas. “It is a disgrace and it is a moral imperative…we need to rise up and fix this.”
He of course hit on the red meat issues as well, like the economy and health care (though, without a shot at Romney), as well as the usual social con sweet spots. So what does all this have to do with the price of tea in China? Everyone seems to agree that the main thing T-Paw has to do is get his name recognition up. The speeches are good, and starting a feud with Romney without him knowing is a nice touch. I’m sure they’ll be a book coming out in the next two years as well…his schtick on “Wal-Mart Republicans” would play well.
Other than that? My Romney/Sanford dream ticket has been ruined by the bottom doodling the Argentinean. And while stranger things have happened, I just can’t see anyone catching up to Romney (which I’m aware Dems thought the same thing aboot Hillary).
But Romney/Pawlenty ’12? As Drudge likes to say, DEVELOPING…