Look where Tim Pawlenty wants to go in his search for support from the Republican Party base: A conference whose keynote speaker believes that Barack Obama is a racist, and that has signed on a co-sponsor noted for its historic opposition to civil rights.
Pawlenty, Glenn Beck and the John Birch Society will all have a place at the table for the 2010 Conservative Political Action Conference slated for February in Washington, D.C. Former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, who famously bailed on her post as Alaska's governor, also bailed on a previous commitment to keynote at CPAC, making way for Beck.
So much ink has been spilled over Beck that there's precious little new to say about the guy. Nut job? Performance artist? Savior of the Republic? Even one of his allies at Fox News was taken aback when Beck said this last July:
"This president, I think, has exposed himself as a guy, over and over and over again, who has a deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture."
Eric Black, over at MinnPost, has a longer post about the Birchers, their history, and whether Pawlenty really wants his name associated with their reputation.
This won't be Pawlenty's first CPAC address, but it's cast in a different light for the retiring Minnesota governor who now has his sights unofficially set on the White House. Pawlenty was at CPAC last year when keynoter Rush Limbaugh famously announced that he hoped President Barack Obama would be a failure.
Here's Beck on the invite: