Politics & Policy

Pawlenty the Prankster

Time’s Michael Crowley has done an extensive profile of Tim Pawlenty.  It’s well-worth reading in full, but I wanted to highlight a couple of interesting snippets from the piece. First, some fun tidbits about Pawlenty’s personality:

If Pawlenty projects an exaggerated air of confidence, perhaps it’s to make up for a certain lack of gravitas. This is a man whose first professional goal was to be a dentist. Who as governor grew out his sideburns in part as a tribute to the character of Ricky Bobby from the Will Ferrell comedy Talladega Nights. Who once told a Minnesotan who’d asked if he was the governor that he was in fact the Channel 4 weatherman. (He could pass for one.) And who, during a 2001 statehouse baseball game, yanked down the pants of his buddy Steve Sviggum, then the statehouse speaker. “The governor was a prankster,” Sviggum says.

Self-important he is not. Pawlenty jokes that when he first announced he was running for governor to replace pro wrestler turned politician Jesse Ventura, his young daughters’ friends were thrilled — but not about him: “Can you get us Jesse Ventura’s autograph?” they asked.

The Pawlenty camp is also taking a possible run by Michele Bachmann very seriously:

Pawlenty may be spooked in part by a fellow Minnesotan: Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, whose fiery brand of conservatism could steal the show in Iowa, where Pawlenty needs a strong showing to catapult him into subsequent primary states. “Bachmann’s going to be a pain in the ass in Iowa,” says Pawlenty’s friend and former chief of staff Charlie Weaver.

Full piece here.

Katrina TrinkoKatrina Trinko is a political reporter for National Review. Trinko is also a member of USA TODAY’S Board of Contributors, and her work has been published in various media outlets ...

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