Tim Pawlenty’s political history and personal story suggest far greater appeal to Republican presidential primary voters than his bland persona and charmless speaking style, Capital Journal columnist Gerald F. Seib writes in The Wall Street Journal
. A proven budget cutter, convert to evangelical Christianity, and product of a working-class household, the former Minnesota governor touches enough key points of the GOP base to qualify as the party’s come-from-behind candidate in 2012, Seib writes.
Pawlenty, who formally entered the race on Monday, also has enjoyed some recent good fortune, according to Seib.
“The shape of the Republican field, the departure of some potential rivals, the pace of the campaign and the emerging issue mix all have broken about as well for the 50-year-old Minnesotan as he could have hoped,” Seib writes.
Pawlenty’s name recognition and poll numbers remain low, and his lack of verbal dynamism hasn’t helped, Seib writes. But he contends that Pawlenty’s conservative credentials, budget discipline, governing experience, populist background, and religious faith make him a potential uniter within the party — a figure who would be acceptable to every Republican constituency if he can find a way to inspire more passion among potential supporters.
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