Tim Pawlenty: "That may be the first nice thing anybody at City Pages has ever said about me" [AUDIO]

What, Tim, was it something we wrote?
What, Tim, was it something we wrote?

Tim Pawlenty marked his glorious return to Minnesota with an appearance to the Minnesota Public Radio , where he sat in for a full show with the state's most lovable voice, Gary Eichten.

During yesterday's broadcast, Pawlenty opened up about his failed presidential campaign, the current state of politics in America, his endorsement of Mitt Romney, and... City Pages?

Yes, City Pages. It turns out that over the years, Pawlenty has been keeping up with this news outlet, and all of the wonderful things it's written about him.

In an exchange about Pawlenty's image and behavior, Eichten quoted a couple lines from City Pages that accused T-Paw of being a bit too starched around the collar during his three-month presidential campaign. The piece in question was flattering to the former governor, especially when compared to other words that have appeared in this space.

"That," Pawlenty told Eichten, "may be the first nice thing anybody at City Pages ever said about me."

For context, here's the couplet at issue, from a story covering Pawlenty's appearance on the Colbert Report after dropping out of the race:

Pawlenty, unyoked of the burdens of running for Republican nominee in strange times, was quite charming and utterly humble. Wonder what would happen if the guy who was on "The Colbert Report" last night ran for president.
Gary Eichten, Tim Pawlenty: "Where does the pain come from, Tim?"
Gary Eichten, Tim Pawlenty: "Where does the pain come from, Tim?"

After Pawlenty again showed off the same humility and quick wit for Eichten, the two of them had a good laugh at his expense.

Continuing about City Pages, Pawlenty said, "They're usually pretty harsh on me."

City Pages would like to officially reject that allegation, Tim. We have no idea what you are talking about.

In yet another moment of the newly candid Tim Pawlenty, he went on to basically admit to Eichten that he'd allowed his campaign to be mishandled by advisers.

"I think it is fair to say as a criticism, and I accept it, that early on in my campaign -- I think it got better closer to the end -- that, you know, you get all of this input, you get all of these people telling you what to do. And I think in the end you're just better served as a candidate, I think the campaign is better served, if you just be yourself. And I don't mean I wasn't myself, but you find yourself -- they say, 'You can't say this, can't say that, don't do this, say that, wear this color shirt.' You can't -- in the end, the process is so transparent with so much coverage and exposure, if you're not authentic it shows through. And I think I would've been better served if I'd just thrown all that off and said, 'Aw, the heck with it, I'm just going to go out and say what I want.'"

Man, first his vulnerability in the official portrait, now all of this honesty and straight talk. Pawlenty 3.0 just gets better and better.

Wonder what would happen if that... naw, who are we kidding? He'd still have lost to Romney.

Thanks for reading, Tim. Let's keep in touch. Don't call us, we'll call you.

Here's the audio of Pawlenty's interview. If you want to hear his line about us -- or Eichten struggling with the name of this very correspondent -- that starts around the 9:00 mark.

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