The first Morning Jolt of the week begins with a look at MSNBC’s recent programming decisions, the mainstream media/ suddenly recognizing that Obama is willing to practice the dreaded “politics of fear,” and Iowa suddenly turning into the Thunderdome for aspiring GOP presidents from Minnesota:
Bachmann: Oh, By the Way, My Governor These Past Years Was a Lot like Obama
The Ames Straw Poll and the Iowa Caucuses now have their storylines: Two Minnesotans enter, one Minnesotan leaves.
Bachmann for President Press Secretary Alice Stewart issued the following statement in response to comments by the Pawlenty campaign that there is very little difference between Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann and former Governor Tim Pawlenty:
“Governor Pawlenty would have us believe that there is ‘very little difference’ between his positions and those of Michele Bachmann.
“But in fact, there is very little difference between Governor Pawlenty’s past positions and Barack Obama’s positions on several critical issues facing Americans. On issues such as unconstitutional healthcare mandates, climate change regulations, and Wall Street bailouts, there’s very little daylight, indeed, between Governor Pawlenty’s record and the Obama administration’s policies.
“And of course, President Obama would surely applaud Governor Pawlenty’s 2006 statement that the ‘era of small government is over,’ and that the government will have to be ‘more proactive and more aggressive.’
“Governor Pawlenty has changed his positions in recent years, but he can’t run from his big government record as governor of Minnesota that left the state’s budget in a multi-billion dollar mess. That’s not executive experience we need.”
On the one hand, these sorts of sharper divisions and tougher attacks were inevitable in the GOP presidential primary. On the other hand, there’s something artificial and contrived when two candidates who have shared the same stage and made vaguely positive remarks about each other in recent history suddenly turn it up to eleven and contend the other is obviously unacceptable as the party’s nominee. Pawlenty’s been running for president since March (with the formation of his exploratory committee) and we’re to believe that Bachmann just realized “there is very little difference between Governor Pawlenty’s past positions and Barack Obama’s positions”?