Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty returned to the State Capitol tonight and reflected on his legacy, his failed presidential campaign and his search for work in the private sector.
Pawlenty was the guest of honor for a private ceremony to unveil his official portrait. But the state’s 39th governor, who’s been keeping a relatively low profile the past couple of months, had more than art on his mind. On his early exit from the GOP field of presidential candidates, following a poorer than expected showing in the Iowa straw poll, Pawlenty said that decision came down to running out of money and going into debt.
“We made some decisions that I think with the benefit of hindsight I would have done differently,” Pawlenty said. “I think if we had it to do over again we would have probably metered out our resources lighter earlier so we could have made them last longer. Instead, we went for a more dramatic piece of progress in that early Iowa contest, and I think we should have made a different decision.”
Pawlenty said since leaving the campaign trail he’s been trying to reclaim the life he put on hold two years ago. He’s also looking for a job. Pawlenty said he has several part-time, private sector opportunities in the works.
“I might serve on a board or two,” he said. “I might get involved with a think tank or a nonprofit or a policy group. I might do some consulting. I might invest in some businesses or start a business. So, I’ve got six or eight ideas, and maybe two or three of them will actually come to fruition.”
Asked if he might return to politics someday, Pawlenty said he really doesn’t know what the future holds. He also didn’t rule out a future campaign.