May 17, 2011
Back in 2009, I looked up the frontrunners for the 2012 GOP Presidential nomination on one of those betting sites. There was a three-way tie between Sarah Palin (whom I had heard of), Mitt Romney (whom I had heard of), and Tim Pawlenty (uh ...). Presumably, the smart money figured that nobody else could win, so through process of elimination, Pawlenty would be the last man standing. This theory remains popular today.
Since then, I've tried to read the long Wikipedia article on Pawlenty several times. Each time I get through the identity politics basics: he was governor of Minnesota, a nice, respectable Canadian-border state; he's half German and half Polish (which gets me musing on how that would be nice for Poles who seem like quiet people who don't make much of a fuss and it would be nice if they got part of a President to claim); so that sounds like he'd be Catholic but he's actually an evangelical Protestant, which should appeal to Southerners even though he's from the far North.
So, I get the theory of Tim Pawlenty, but as soon as I start reading about the individual, my eyes glaze over. I've never come close to finishing anything about Pawlenty. In contrast, with potential candidate Mitch Daniels, the governor of Indiana, maybe just because I've had dinner with him a couple of times, but I can observe themes emerging from the biographical minutiae: like, what a huge role selling drugs has played throughout his life. That's interesting. But with Pawlenty, I can't force myself to pay attention long enough to notice patterns.
So, tell me something interesting about Tim Pawlenty.