TFlaw: Pawlenty’s Drone Assaults Continue To Fall Flat

Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty perplexed political pundits a few weeks ago when he attacked political rival Mitt Romney for passing “Obamneycare” health insurance reform, but then completely backed off the attack the next day when nose-to-nose with a smirking Romney.

I assumed Pawlenty just was off that night, or that he intentionally pulled back because he worried about being exposed as a hypocrite on that particular issue. Whatever the origins of the original retreat, I assumed that would the last such TFlaw. In fact, I expected him to be pitbull agressive to calm red meat-craving party activists who are wondering if Pawlenty is nasty enough to rhetorically dismember President Obama in face-to-face debates.

But, it looks like Governor Pawlenty has done it again, this time with his “Minnesota twin” Michelle Bachmann. Today Bloomberg reports:

Stressing his record as a chief executive, (Pawlenty) told his listeners that they should support someone who isn’t “only giving speeches and offering failed amendments.”

His comments seemed aimed at Bachmann. As a state legislator before winning her House seat in 2006, she unsuccessfully pushed to amend Minnesota’s constitution to bar legal recognition of same-sex marriage. In Congress, she has emerged as a favorite speaker at rallies sponsored by Tea Party activists and hasn’t shepherded any major legislation into law.

Pawlenty insisted to reporters after his Ames speech that he wasn’t referring to Bachmann, 55.

If not Bachmann, who exactly was his target? Why doesn’t he name THAT person?

For some reason, Pawlenty thinks he can run for President like some kind of unmanned predator drone operator, attempting to inflict deadly damage only when at a safe distance from hand-to-hand combat. But Pawlenty’s political drone attacks will continue to get panned by macho Republican activists whose fondest wish is for Obama to be subjected to persistent shock-and-awe, not drone-and-atone.

– Loveland

25 thoughts on “TFlaw: Pawlenty’s Drone Assaults Continue To Fall Flat

  1. PM. says:

    Maybe he suffers from a fatal case of Minnesota Nice–an inability to go for the jugular?

  2. Newt says:

    T-Paw will be President Bachmann’s Secretary of State. A nice, harmless position with no authority or responsibility.

    1. Joe Loveland says:

      True, but a veteran candidate narrowly beating newbie Bachmann in fundrasing is a little like barely winning a 400 meter race when you start 350 meters ahead of the other racer. A win is a win, but…

      1. PM. says:

        and she did it is a fraction of the time he did. The next reporting period will be very interesting….

        Do you think that Perry is stepping in? That will also make a difference!

  3. Joe Loveland says:

    I’m the last person to give a good read about Republican donors. But my ill-informed guess is that Perry and Pawlenty might both be competing for the same type of opportunistic donors who want to give to a candidate they think can win a general election…and are afraid that Bachmann, Palin, Paul and other primary/caucus favorites can’t win a general election. Since Perry is the shiny new object in the Electable bucket, and Pawlenty has failed to set the world on fire (e.g. polls, fundraising, debate performances), it seems like Perry’s entrance would hurt Pawlenty. But then again, what the hell do I know about Republican donors?

  4. Joe Loveland says:


    Just so folks know, we’ve been having a technical issue with WordPress (the company that hosts this blog, and gazillions of others) that prevents us from publishing new posts. We can still comment, obviously, but we can’t post anything new. We’re in contact with the Wizards of WordPress, and stockpiling sagacity and snarkiness in the meantime. Stay tuned.

      1. Joe Loveland says:

        You smoked me out. (Beyond the technical issue, I was on vacation all last week.)

        I hate the Republican offer that Governor Dayton accepted. More borrowing for current needs. More kicking the can down the road. Being a pay-as-you go conservative, don’t you hate it too?

        I do like that he got a larger budget than the Republicans said they would ever accept. Being a government shrinker, don’t you hate that part?

        And I do like the fact that he is killing off all of the ridiculous bans on stem cell research, abortion and other things that have nothing to do with supporting our weak economy.

        Given the Republicans opposition to any revenue increases — tax on the rich, close tax loopholes, expand the sales tax base, expand gambling, etc. — I think it’s the best deal Dayton could have gotten. But I think the Republican’s plan that he is accepting is horrible policy…and frankly, I’m surprised a good conservative like you wouldn’t hate it as much as I do.

  5. Newt says:

    Truth be told, Dayton kicked Zellers & Koch’s asses.

    I’d say 10% growth in government spending in the midst of a depression is a good result for DFLers. Not the 22% growth Dayton had hoped for, but still a double-digit increase in state government.

    The establishment GOP needs to be taken to the woodshed. They held all the power, and they flinched. Badly. Conservatives are starting to take names.

    Congrats to Comrade Dayton.

    1. PM. says:

      Thing is, government spending should be countercyclical–it should increase when the economy is bad, and shrink when the economy is good.

    2. Joe Loveland says:


      1) Re: Newt’s assertion that the compromise represents a 10% increase in spending.

      With the current biennium’s $34.5B budget and the $35.8B compromise budget for the new biennimum, isn’t that an increase of something like 3.8%, rather than 10%?

      (Note: The biggest driver of state spending is health care costs, and medical inflation is running about 9% per year.)

      2) On the day Dayton agreed to the Republican June 30 proposal, Newt expressed his wish that Republicans in DC would learn how to emasculate Dems the way MN Republicans emasculated Dayton. But now you seem to view Dayton as the emasculater instead of the emasculated? I couldn’t care less, but I’m just curious, what changed your mind?

      1. Newt says:


        I understand the 2010-2011 budget (with unallotments) to be $31.1 billion.

        This would put the “compromise budget” at 15% growth over the previous biennieum.

        Yes, several days ago, I was jubilant until the Stare Tribune amended its headline to say that Dayton accepted the GOP’s June 30 offer, but “with conditions.”

        PM Is on record now saying that it’s OK to shrink government when the economy is strong. (He must know we’ll never see a strong economy again.)


      2. Joe Loveland says:

        Re: $34.5 billion or $31.1 billion for 2010-2011

        MinnPost reports:

        We’re on the verge of finishing up a biennium on a $34.5 billion budget, which was padded by $2.3 billion in federal stimulus money and reduced by $1.89 billion in a nifty little “shift” of money the state owes to K-12 education.

        So Pawlenty 1) got bailed out by the Obama stimulus he now campaigns against and 2) did a cutesy shift instead of going pay-as-you-go, but bottom line: MN’s level of service in 20110-2011 was at $34.5 billion.

      3. PM. says:

        Newt: is that because you think that the Republicans will lose the presidency as well as the house in 2012, because of their complete irresponsibility on the debt ceiling debate?


      4. Newt says:

        Obama is gone with or without the debt ceiling. This is what happens when America elects a president on the basis of race instead of qualifications.

        Obama is lost in the tall, dry grass with a cigarette lighter to guide the way.

  6. PM. says:

    Just as the deficit should rise when the economy is bad, and shrink when the economy is good. If only Bush II had decided to continue to pay down the deficit when we were enjoying surpluses, we would not be in this mess today.

    1. Erik Peterson says:

      The economy should really be cooking now by that logic.
      It’s probably too easy to be a credible skeptic of Keynesianism right now, but really….there’s no intuitive reason to believe monetary stimulus works at this point. It’s a dead theory…. especially if that $ is not to be used on infrastructure projects….which it wasn’t.

      Bush II tax policy is also meaningless in retrospect. You’re speculating about the effects of a 39% top rate as opposed to a 35% over the last ten years. It wouldn’t have generated enough to be a difference now.

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