What’s in Pawlenty’s future?

Rumors about Gov. Pawlenty’s Washington aspirations have swirled ever since he announced he was running for the U.S. Senate years ago.

A visit to the toney Club for Growth during the 2004 Republican National Convention in New York could’ve been a little “toe in the water” action. And they liked him and, especially, his no-new-taxes pledge.

In 2005 he pushed — hard — for the ethanol bill in last year’s Legislature, and then called the agriculture department to get some talking points for a trip to Iowa — where, you may have heard — they have some presidential caucuses; significant because Pawlenty wasn’t doing any out-of-the-state travelling at the time, so DFLers couldn’t complain that he wasn’t tending to the state while they and the Republicans were tying it up in knots in the Legislature.

And, of course, he completely ticked off the White House with his effort to set up a Web site for cheaper Canadian drugs, and looked good doing it, which made some seniors — I hear they’re an important voting bloc — pretty happy since their organization — AARP — had pretty much sold them out in Washington’s effort to get the issue off the table in the 2004 election.

I thought of all of that this afternoon while listening to him speak during a conference call after returning from a visit to Iraq. In the past, his visits have primarily been of the “boosting the Minnesota soldiers” variety.

But this sounded different… this sounded like a guy muscling up on the foreign policy stuff.

In a few weeks they’re arriving in Kuwait and they’re going to be training up for three weeks in Kuwait and then from there they’ll deploy in country. I hope during that time that the announcement of the formation of a unity government can be made and then things will begin to improve relative to today over time.”

Pawlenty was on a delegation that was led by Sen. John McCain. We probably shouldn’t read much into that since I believe Sen. Russ Feingold was on that trip too.

But I do anyway. If Pawlenty isn’t checking out the national waters, then maybe McCain is taking a look at Pawlenty.

  • Victoria

    I thought the same thing, Bob. He sure wasn’t talking like someone concerned about state-level issues.