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Things That Excite Me about Tim Pawlenty

Even though he’s a reasonably attractive candidate, Tim Pawlenty just isn’t driving a lot of excitement for Republican voters. He comes off as a pretty laid back guy just going in to do the jobs he has previously been elected to do. To be honest, that’s very appealing to me right now. It certainly has a lot more appeal than a leader who thinks he’s a rock star.

But I can tell you one thing that excites me about Pawlenty. I had the chance to meet him & actually talk to him at the Sportsmen for McCain launch in 2008. We had a chance to speak while we were watching the junior shooters who were shooting rounds of trap at the club. I didn’t really expect him to know gun policy. Many pro-gun politicians support the Second Amendment, but they don’t know the details of the actual policies that we either want to see enacted or benefit from in the real world like concealed carry. He and I chatted about concealed carry and other issues, and he actually knew the issues. I wish I could remember more specifics, but I was a little busy picking my jaw up off the ground after he started talking about it. So, yeah, that excites me.

Apologies for the poor video quality since my old digital camcorder was crap, but here is the video of his speech to kick off Sportsmen for McCain:

16 Responses to “Things That Excite Me about Tim Pawlenty”

  1. Maxpwr says:

    He’s not rock star exciting as you say, but he is the most normal candidate the GOP has right now. He’s flip-flopped on Global Warming and Subsidies to Farmers and as long as he’s flipping back to the right side I’m willing to forgive him.

    He is Second Amendment savvy. Concealed Carry passed under his watch in Minnesota, so I would expect him to know about the issue.

    I’ve been watching him here from neighboring Wisconsin. Pawlenty is a good guy and the only Republican in the race so far that doesn’t upset large groups in the way Romney does.

  2. The Second Anonymous says:

    I was listening to his speech at CATO regarding reining in public sector. Ya know, he’s probably one of the few who can speak clearly about the issues and solutions with logic and very little drama. I am actually quite surprised. He’s gonna be a strong contender as long as he holds the conservative values, and supports 2A.

  3. kenno271 says:

    This is definitely a plus for Pawlenty. Usually it’s like pulling teeth to get Republican candidates enthusiastic about the 2nd Amendment. I don’t just want a President who refrains from gun control. I want a President who’s “down with the struggle.” IOW, I want someone who is arguably not only a pro-gun politician, but a 2nd Amendment activist.

    One problem with Bush was that he never seemed to think gun owners were anything other than an interest group to be courted. The whole gun issue seemed to be a big yawn job for him. Granted, that was an improvement over Clinton, who was an anti-gun activist.

  4. John says:

    Thanks for this Bitter. I was just thinking I wished I knew more about Pawlenty on guns earlier today. From what I have seen so far, I think he may do the best job governing, among the current candidates. As for issues he flipped on, he said he was wrong. He didn’t make excuses, as far as I know. And it felt genuine to me. I have to see how this develops, but I think I like him.

  5. Phil D. says:

    A politician has learned the rap? The hell you say! What a surprise. Probably 10,000 gun owners have sent him long, thoughtful letters filled with it, and he used them to learn what lyrics seem to appeal to us most. Plus all he’s learned at the “Sportsmen for” diversions.

    What has he done that was exceptional?

  6. Bitter says:

    Let’s see how we would judge politicians based on Phil’s standards represented in his comment, shall we?

    *You can’t believe anything they say that’s pro-gun – no matter how informed or passionate.
    *You can’t recognize when a politician has listened to gun owners who spoke up about an issue.
    *You can’t judge a politician by the bills they have voted on or signed (since Pawlenty knew the issue possibly based on the fact that it came up under him).
    *You can’t applaud a politician to coming out to the gun range and supporting your shooters – junior shooters, even.
    *You can’t appreciate when a politician reaches out to your interest group lest they give it the wrong name. (Even worse, if they volunteer to assist another candidate whose campaign named the interest group, as is the case in the Pawlenty video.)

    I’m not sure I want to live in Phil’s world. I’m happy to be on good and friendly terms with the legislators who make those kinds of efforts. When we recognize such action & statements locally, it wins us political allies who vote for the things we care about. That’s what we call winning.

  7. In his 2002 election campaign, Pawlenty campaigned on implementing a CCW law in Minnesota. In 2003 he followed through and signed a “shall issue” law. His attorney general also defended it against a state court that struck it down, and then signed a second (fixed) bill in ’05.

    http://www.leg.state.mn.us/lrl/issues/issues.aspx?issue=firearmcarry

    I’m actually warming up to Pawlenty the more I learn about him. I’m also kind of excited about Gary Johnson’s candidacy but he seems like a long shot.

    Realistically I could get fairly pumped about a Pawlenty/Cain ticket. Pawlenty/Rice would also be great. Rice brings lots of foreign policy cred (but maybe too much baggage), and Cain brings business cred.

  8. Arnie says:

    Governor Pawlenty has been my guy for two months now. His stands on the issues are mostly congruent with my own, plus, he’s a very humble man – no personal agenda to foist on anyone – and still teachable, willing to change when shown a better way.

  9. PhilaBOR says:

    Pawlenty did sign both the carry bills (thank you, I have one of the 80,000 results in my wallet and holster). He also did a very good (not perfect) job of holding the line on spending in a state with plenty of spenders and moonbats. The only complaint about his 2A cred I have is that MN didn’t aggressively pursue reciprocity, so there are lots of states my MN card isn’t good in.

  10. Phil D. says:

    Bitter:

    You may not want to live in my world, but I have no choice but to live in yours.

    • Bitter says:

      Actually, you do have a choice. You’re welcome to explore any of the political systems around the world. I look forward to applying your “won’t give any credit to anything they say or do” attitude when living as a (wishful) gun owner in places like Japan or the UK. I doubt you’ll find any politicians there who deserve credit, so you should be just as at home as you are here.

  11. Parrym says:

    Having lived in the great state of MN all my life, it still amazes me how well Pawlenty did as governor. As some of you know, MN is not the most conservative of states (see Walter Mondale ’84). Kinda purplish-blue up here, but he did win 2 terms and probably would have easily gotten a 3rd if he’d run. He is not a hard core conservative, but he is a solid conservative none-the-less.

    His is rock solid on 2A, giving us one of the better Carry Laws around: open/concealed, bars/restaurants/parks/church – doesn’t matter. Private business can post if they want, public can’t.

    He held the line on taxes (though not ‘user fees’) but the best part, in my opinion, was how he handled the MN house and senate. Both have been controlled by Dems for a long time and he held his own with them. More than that, he, through the bully pulpit and veto pen, got them on the right path and they followed. To me this is the best indication of his great leadership.

    He’s (and his wife) are also good people without the baggage others in the race will drag with them.

  12. Thomas Jackson says:

    If you loved Dole, Bush and McCain you’ll love Pawlenty. Who wouldn’t love a candidate who couldn’t confront the massive voter fraud that allowed Al Franken to become a senator?

    I mean the Russians are just trembling in their foots.

  13. emdfl says:

    Just what is needed. Another “moderate” McCain republican…

  14. Alpheus says:

    “Pawlenty is a good guy and the only Republican in the race so far that doesn’t upset large groups in the way Romney does.”

    If you’re saying that Romney upsets large groups because he’s Mormon, I’d have to say “It’s sad that we can’t respect someone because they have a different religious belief.”

    If you’re saying that because of his position on RomneyCare, all I can say would be “Where did I put my pitchforks and torches?” :-)

  15. BadIdeaGuy says:

    Thanks for the post. So far Pawlenty’s my favorite. He seems like a pretty decent candidate. I agree that I don’t want a “rockstar” candidate. I think if we approach this from the “let’s out-rockstar the one” mindset, we’re doomed to fail.

    It’s not based on more than anecdotal evidence but it seems like the establishment is going to push really hard for a Romney coronation on the belief that all the rubes in the NRA and other voting blocs they don’t care for will “hold their nose and vote” to avoid another four years.

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