BEST BROKEN PROMISE Minneapolis 2005 - Tim Pawlenty
Pawlenty campaigned for governor as an opponent of expanding gambling in Minnesota. (He also opposed public subsidies for stadiums, but we're limited to one broken promise at a time.) Two years ago, he was one of the many hand-wringers who took a pious stance against the rise of casinos being used to create state revenue, saying it was "not a function of government," and that gambling "destroys lots of people's lives." It wasn't a promise per se, but he sure made it sound like a deeply held principle in his political philosophy. Now, thanks to holding hard to a no-new-taxes pledge that has shone some national attention on him, but has made balancing the budget increasingly untenable, the governor is spinning the roulette wheel of major casino proposals while saying it's time for the Indian casinos to share the wealth. This can't really be a good development in the overall picture, no matter what happens. But forgive us while we get to say this: He's waffling! He's waffling! And, forgive us while we gleefully watch the many Pawlenty-ites in his own party--especially the holier-than-thou Evangelicals--decry their leader's political tap dance.