At the godforsaken hour of 2:53 in the morning, Tim Pawlenty moved through the shriveling victory balloons and wadded cocktail napkins inside the Grand Ballroom at the Sheraton Bloomington hotel and ascended the stage for his first speech as the re-elected governor of Minnesota. For eight solid hours at this GOP election night bash, the phalanx of television screens in and around the ballroom had shown the political carcasses of Republicans piling up like cordwood from coast to coast. Among the races thought to be competitive in Minnesota, Pawlenty was one of the precious few Republican survivors. The shell-shocked die-hards left in the audience may not have known whether to cheer or cry, but Tim Pawlenty remained the once and... More >>>