To paraphrase one of our governor’s favorite gags, the only thing rising faster than Tim Pawlenty on The Fix’s list of most influential Republicans is Chris Cillizza’s man-crush on Pawlenty. (Hey, it’s super-funny the way T-Paw tells it, about another Chris, MSNBC’s Matthews, and his fondness for Obama.) Pawlenty rockets up from the number 6 slot to number 2, Sarah Palin’s old place, just behind Mitt Romney.
Cillizza is a fan and doesn’t break T-Paw’s chops for galavanting around the nation, the way we locals (who unlike Cillizza are the constituents he leaves behind) tend to do:
Give Tpaw credit – he recognized that he had to quickly get moving if he wanted to emerge as a national leader, and he has done just that. Pawlenty has been somewhere close to ever-present on cable chat shows and has generally weighed in on national issues with gravity and smarts. (His decision to suspend any expenditure of state dollars to ACORN backfired a bit when Minnesota’s ACORN representative said the organization didn’t get any state cash.) Pawlenty has a prime speaking spot at the Values Voters Summit tomorrow night; if he does well, expect the buzz factor on him to rise.
But Cillizza’s not the only one with Pawlenty in his sights as the Values Voter Summit gets underway. Minnesota’s governor is the first target of a new Democratic National Committee campaign called “Call ‘Em Out,” taking Pawlenty to task for his statement about health care reform.
The campaign’s name is inspired by the Obama line: “I will not waste time with those who have made the calculation that it’s better politics to kill this plan than improve it … If you misrepresent what’s in the plan, we will call you out.”
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