He's signed innumerable copies of a book that hardly anyone's actually read. He's ground through countless speeches and hobnobbing sessions in New Hampshire, Iowa, and anywhere else teabaggers will have him. He's worked overtime to please every right-wing radio and cable news host in the nation.
Soon, Pawlenty will tell Americans whether or not he's going to run for the presidency. Herewith, we offer 10 reasons why he should be the next occupant of the White House.[jump] Strong Family Values
Pawlenty has the conservative social mores angle locked down. How family-values is this guy? Well, in 2008 he voted to pardon convicted sex offender Jeremy Giefer because, he explained, Giefer had done the right thing and married the 14-year-old he was convicted of statutorily raping. True, the wisdom of the gesture was called into question last year when Giefer was charged with serially raping the underage daughter he had with his first victim, but the important thing is that Pawlenty recognizes the sacred relationship between a predator and his child-bride.
In a Facebook era when over-sharing is the rule, not the exception, Tim Pawlenty will make an excellent Commander in Chief. Here's a guy who has the courage to emote about blowing chow as he cleans rotten-meat hooks out of some trailers behind a warehouse for part-time scrip. And he's not afraid to hire a real writer to churn out some purple prose to jazz up this and other assorted family tales in order to try to move product. He's truly a TMI stud for our times.Americans Love Movie Stars
The man understands what in political circles is called "optics." Al Gore may have invented the internet, but Tim Pawlenty has perfected it with his use of YouTube-enabled propaganda reels. T-Paw's ongoing series of wide-screen Hollywood self-promotional videos make Leni Riefenstahl look like an amateur. Loving shots of eugenically apple-cheeked heartland kids, the indomitable power of the American Luftwaffe, the searing Two Minutes of Hate for union workers and other enemies within--Pawlenty's message machine is pitch-perfect on every count. Americans love movie stars. If we can't have Reagan back, at least we can elect a viral-video celebrity.Not Afraid to Man Up
Pawlenty has the courage of his convictions, and he's not afraid to man up and admit when he's changed those convictions for political expediency either, especially if it means putting a smile on the collective faces of his party's new climate change-denying base. Cast your mind back to 2005: He drove an E85-friendly SUV. In 2007, he was as close to being a tree-hugger as Republicans would tolerate. He signed a bill to cut Minnesota greenhouse gas emissions mid-century by 75 percent. He supported cap-and-trade legislation. But it turns out he was full of hot air then. Or maybe it's now. We're not sure. His convictions keep changing. These days, he calls his diligent work on climate change issues "a mistake," with a hand out looking for tea party votes.Won't Be Stopped by the Constitution
Pawlenty has the necessary confidence in his own judgement to be a strong leader. When the Legislature didn't balance the budget by its deadline two years ago, he didn't do something rash like call a special session. Instead, T-Paw just went through the whole thing himself and crossed out a bunch of stuff he didn't like. Okay, so maybe this did turn out to be unconstitutional, but you've got to give the guy credit for knowing he's smarter than every state legislator combined.A Smokin' Hot First Lady
Mary Pawlenty could be the most smokin' hot First Lady of all time, at least if you listen to T-Paw, who can't stop creepily pimping his wife's good looks to anyone who will listen. "I'm very thankful for my red-hot smoking wife, the first lady of Minnesota," Tim Pawlenty has said on more than one occasion. Apparently, Timmy picked up the line from his favorite movie, Taladega Nights. But you know what they say about the people who talk about it most get it the least? Sounds like T-Paw is compensating. "She loves football, she'll go to hockey games, and, I jokingly say, 'Now, if I could only get her to have sex with me.'"He Knows How to Say "No"
If there's one thing Tim Pawlenty is good at, it's saying no. He proved that during his governorship of Minnesota, during which he racked up more vetoes than any previous Minnesota governor in history. What did T-Paw accomplish with this stunning legacy of rejection? He denied benefits to Fed-Ex drivers, flip-flopped on his love for Cuba, and quashed a ban on a dangerous chemical in children's products. If any foreign dictator comes to this country requesting a bowl of soup, rest assured that T-Paw will unequivocally state, "No soup for you!"He's a Social Media Mogul
Young people are really into T-Paw. That's because our man has his finger on the pulse of socially conservative social media. He's an avid tweeter and just announced the formation of his exploratory committee on Facebook. The teaser--posted on Twitter multiple times with an increasingly shrill "Pls RT!"--earned him a tidal wave of attention: 5,000 "likes," bringing his total count to 80,000. Sure, Mitt Romney has 10 times that. And Sarah Palin has 2.8 million. What we know is, those were not 5,000 reporters, but 5,000 young people, totally impressed that T-Paw also "likes" the Vikings! And what Gen Y'er wouldn't be stirred to political action with tweets like, "President Obama is not behaving like Ronald Reagan--he's behaving like Jimmy Carter." Total burn, dude.Pawlenty Speaks Your Language
When Pawlenty goes out to meet his fans, he really tries to speak their language. On a recent trip down to Iowa, Pawlenty noticed that he'd headed south and began drawling like Jimmy Swaggart: "This ain't about easy; this is about rolling up our sleeves and plowing ahead and getting the job done," he said. "Getting" became "git-ing." In, "We, the people of the United States, will rise up again," "United" became "yew-nah-ted" and "again" became "a-gin." Now that's a guy who knows his audience...because in Iowa it's all about being Southern.Already a Household Name
The evidence is clear: The presidency is inevitable because Tim Pawlenty is already a national brand. Consider that his January speech showed up on CSPAN as "Tom Pawlenty Remarks." Or that a recent Gallup poll revealed that 41 percent of Republicans and Republican leaners know our former governor's name. Someone so memorable is bound for greatness.