The past week has seen a fresh round of media speculation about whether Gov. Tim Pawlenty will run for president in 2012. The consensus: a definite maybe. But nobody asked his mullet.
But only if his message finds an audience, T-Paw told the Star Tribune, and even then he’d ask, “Do they want me to be the one to advance it?”
Folks, this is not rocket science. It’s not even political science. We went through this last year with his bid to be the GOP’s vice presidential candidate, and it all came down to basic barbering: When Pawlenty is running for something, he loses the mullet. If the heat’s off, he grows it back.
In mid-August, speaking at a low-profile business conference in suburban St. Paul, T-Paw was letting it all hang out.
By the end of the month, when the interviews on which the presidential speculation was based took place, the party in back was over.
Here’s the part of Pawlenty’s interview with Bloomberg’s Alan Hunt that started it all last week:
AH: Governor, as you know, a lot of speculation: Will Pawlenty run in 2012? My dear friend and colleague Tim Russert used to say, you know, politicians are a lot better off if they’re candid rather than coy. Why not just say, rather then go through this, “Geez, I want to serve out my term” — why not just say, “Yeah, I’m really interested in it, and I may do it”?
TP: Because I don’t know. I’m not being cute or coy with you. My thought is, I’m going to I’m going to finish out my term as governor, both here in Minnesota and around the country, I’m going to try to speak to to how the Republican Party can and should improve. And if that gets some traction and some momentum then I would consider that and not rule it in or out. But at least consider it. But I can’ make that decision yet and won’t make that decision yet, so I’m not just being coy. I just don’t know.
Hunt’s conclusion: “The national Republicans could do worse than Pawlenty. They probably will.“
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