The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

Meet Tim Pawlenty, a Youth Hockey Team, and His Dog


The presidential campaign of former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty debuts with fantastic production values:

Clearly, Pawlenty’s aiming for two themes: 1) “Our country has veered onto the wrong track” and 2) “I’m the man to fix it.” On the former, it’s almost the traditional campaign-ad iconography: padlocked gate at a factory; “Bank owned,” “Foreclosure,” and “Not hiring” signs; a closed car dealership. On the latter, smiling hard workers, suburban streets, Pawlenty shaking hands with those smiling hard workers, historical footage, Reagan, Lincoln, Pawlenty skating with the youth ice-hockey team. Oh, and a dog.

And lots of flags. I counted 18 images of the flag in Pawlenty’s two-minute video, which comes out to roughly one every seven seconds.

And yet . . . as of nearly 5 p.m., the YouTube page indicates it has been watched 315 times. Perhaps it’s a busy news day (Libya) or it’s too early in the cycle for the announcement of an exploratory bid to make much of a splash. There’s little visibly wrong with the way Pawlenty is introducing himself to the country as a presidential candidate. But it feels like, so far, it needs a bit more “oomph” to generate some genuine excitement.

UPDATE: As noted in the comments, YouTube only updates the number of views periodically, so the 315 may be much higher the next time YouTube updates the numbers. But I stand by my original point, that it feels like the Pawlenty debut is competing for media oxygen on a day with many big stories, some life-and-death . . .

UPDATE: And now it’s up to 22,000 . . .

Tags: Tim Pawlenty


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