2008 wasn’t the best year for Tim Pawlenty. He was passed over for Vice-President for by Sarah Palin. Then after the election, when they held the Republican Governors Association conference and many consider that to be his first step on the national stage, he was over shadowed by…Sarah Palin. And to think, he cut his mullet for this!
Seriously though, 2009 is turning into a better year for him. He’s speaking out more and is one of the go-to guys when people are looking for a Republican response to anything Barack Obama does. Most recently, he spoke to the Values Voter Summit, the annual meeting of conservative activists.
And while he place third in an irrelevant straw poll, from all accounts he blew the attendants away with his speech. Here he is calling out Dear Leader…
The DNC put up a video or some sort of thing attacking me on this debate for various things I’ve said in recent weeks and months, and I accept the challenge. And I’ll just respond by calling out the president back tonight. And I would say – (applause) – and what I’d like to say to him is, DNC and he calls me out, I’ll call you out, call you back, and here’s my message: Stop spending the country into bankruptcy. Stop taxing us into oblivion. And the next time you address a group of young people maybe you should apologize for the crushing debt you’re putting on their shoulders.
NRO’s Mark Hemmingway had this to say aboot it…
If the DNC thinks they’re putting him in his place, they’re really just elevating his profile. Then near the end of the speech, Pawlenty told a Reagan anecdote that he capped by reciting 2 Chronicles 7:14. The entire crowd began reciting the verse along with him — it was definitely a moment. Pawlenty simply nailed his speech. Right message, right crowd, right tone, right on. That said, Pawlenty’s speech at the convention last year wasn’t the best. If Pawlenty is gearing up to run in 2012, time will tell if this speech represents him rising to the occaison or if he merely found a rare moment in the zone. Either way, after witnessing his command of the audience Friday night, people underestimate Pawlenty at their peril. On Saturday, I overheard attendees still buzzing about his speech the previous night.
You can read the entire speech for yourself here. I was starting to grow tired of the “snarky” Pawlenty who was loading is speeches with cheesy one-liners. If we get less of that T-Paw and more of the T-Paw from this weekend, ESPECIALLY the line directed towards young voters, I agree with Hemmingway’s assessment. Don’t sleep on Tim Pawlenty.