Pawlenty Just Can’t Seem to Get Noticed

Thursday, 21 Apr 2011 12:52 PM

By Andra Varin

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Tim Pawlenty’s got a lot of appeal on paper, but for some reason he never gets as much press as other potential Republican presidential candidates.

Writing in The Atlantic, Joshua Green takes a look at why the former Minnesota government is being eclipsed in the media by more colorful figures, such as Donald Trump and Sarah Palin.

Pawlenty, media, Trump Palin
Tim Pawlenty (AP photo)
“Pawlenty is one of several accomplished, credentialed Republicans having a much harder time breaking through than they ever would have imagined,” Green says.

“As much as anyone, he's the victim of the conservative electorate's sharp turn to the right and its appetite for bombast over competence and professionalism.”

Green points out that Pawlenty had to work with a Democratic-led Legislature in Minnesota, where “they’re not big on bombast.” Now, he’s stressing his evangelical faith and trying to woo the tea party as he seeks to emphasize his conservative credentials.

And while he may be accused of playing conservative to woo support, Minnesotans say he’s always been that way.

“Pawlenty is the most conservative governor we've seen in the modern era," Lawrence Jacobs, who directs the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance at the University of Minnesota, told Green. "But he had the political intelligence to not come across that way."

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