What sort of a president would Tim Pawlenty be?

Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty announced Monday that he is forming an exploratory committee as a first step toward running for president. Today’s Question: What sort of a president would Tim Pawlenty be?

  • Clark

    I believe that is a very difficult question to answer. The candidate and the elected official are often quite different.

    Jimmy Carter was a new face but clearly the WORST president of the 20th century. I recall the 17% prime rate and the 12% inflation rate of the 1970’s.

    I thought Gov. Pawlenty was good for Minnesota as he did work to reduce our out of control spending. We need the same change in Washington even if it means a one term president. We can’t continue spending like Bush and Obama.

    If Pawlenty brought the same dicipline to the WH, he just might be a great president. My advise is get past the stupid social issues and concentrate on economy, what works and what doesn’t.

    Clearly he has my vote!

  • Luke Van Santen

    I feel Mr. Pawlenty would continue the ineffectiveness he displayed here in Minnesota and likely increase political polarization. Although, unless there’s a job higher than PotUS to aspire to, he might be able to focus more on what he would have been elected to do?

  • Brad

    He hasn’t demonstrated any leadership traits to date. He isn’t interested in cooperation, collaboration or finding solutions that work for everyone. It’s quite odd that he even wants the job.

  • Will Shapira

    Tim Pawlenty would make George W. Bush seem like Gandhi by comparison.

    Will Shapira, Roseville

  • Laura Ross

    Pawlenty will be all thing to all donors. He is a chameleon, even tailoring his speech to the audience, as seen by a new southern drawl in front of consrvative Iowans recently. He has always been conservative, but has swung sharply right with the onslaugt of the Teapartiers. I doubt he’d be able to take a stance and keep it in front of an audience that didn’t agree.

  • Duane

    I feel he would do a fine job. The key to a successful presidency is to surround yourself with qualified people that instill confidence in the public, An ingredient that I feel has been lacking in both the Obama and the Bush administrations. Some of this is due to the extreme partisanship that has existed in recent years. With the passage of time, this division will disappear and the real accomplishment will rise to the top. Mr Pawlenty had one issue, that his Lt Gov did not seem to react properly at the time of the Bridge collapse. With the passage of time, this issue had faded into the past, His experience and judgment will bode him well as president.

  • Peter Flick

    One need only to look to the choices he made for Commissioner of Education the first time out and his placement of the Lt. Governor as Commission of Transportation. Who would he chose as cabinet or advisors?

  • prudyann

    hopefully we’ll never find out

  • Carrie

    He would be horrible. He couldn’t even run the State of Minnesota. What makes anyone think he could run the country?

  • Joe

    It’s hard to tell what kind of president he might be. Unlike Obama who does have a core belief and stays pretty close to that I think Pawlenty takes positions that will benefit him politically. Kind of like a finger in the wind guy. Once president he would have less incentive to stick to the rigid political positions he has taken until now but I think it would be essentially the same as what he did as governor which was his way or no way. No real governance.

  • Brian

    I think he is trying to fill the “angry white guy”niche,but he just sounds like a whiner.He would be a terrible president.

  • Kyle D.

    I think that he would be the wrong man for the times in 2012. Pawlenty’s legacy is one of greatly expanded executive power (even if the courts ruled that he overstepped his bounds– remember the line item veto?); that’s something that America may have had enough of for a while at the federal level.

    He has shown that he can grow government, slash public spending to the bone, deregulate businesses, and “balance” a budget via federal money and accounting shifts. He has not shown that he can use government money effectively, strengthen the middle class, or even plan for the long term.

    His unilateral budget-hatcheting credentials might make him appealing to some, but the President should be more than just cutter-in-chief who sidesteps the Congress.

  • uptownZombie

    a terrible one.

    He basically stepped out of his job for more than a year as Governor, and that should be enough to tell anyone to not vote for him to be president. He’s just too much of a snake-oil salesman.

    People should go into public service because they have a genuine feeling of service and are humble, not overly aggressive and unwilling to compromise

  • Brian

    As with any Democrat or Republican candidate/representative today, all you have to do is follow the money to find out what/who “controls” the person and how they will represent or not.

    Tim Pawlenty’s top contributor so far (as of 9/30/2010) is a bankster, Morgan Stanley: $85,500; Obama’s number two contributor was also the top bankster, Goldman Sachs: $994,795. In my opinion these are the primary organizations that control the President and Congress.

    Tim could be a good representative of the people but unfortunately he will be bought out as has been most every major candidate.

  • steve

    thats a difficult question-alot of people who are thrown in the fire do really great so who knows! he seems to have the right stuff tho!

  • Greg D’Roseville

    jingo-istic. inflexible. incapable of working as with congress – unless congress is a pre-selecged team. petty and cold. tim could succeed as governor because minnesota liked having a petulent pretty boy – but his over-machined approach to running for president belies his faults – much like the system he wishes to emulate – that of GWBush. everything that matters is a secret. everyhone he trusts is a secret. every decision he makes would be for reasons not shared with the public. you wouldn’t be electing tim pawlenty – you’d be electing a hidden party.

  • dum dum alouwishes

    I guess it depends on which Pawlenty will show up.

    Will it be Pawlenty circ. 1993 who voted for Gay Rights, or Pawlenty who last May veoted such a bill?

    Will it be the “Green” Pawlenty who pushed thru initiatives for renewable energy, or Pawlenty who voted against EPA regulation of greenhouse gases?

    Is it Pawlenty who led the charge toward cheaper prescriptions, or Pawlenty who pushed thousands of the poorest of the poor out of medical care?

    Is it Pawlenty who once said “In an era of deep economic anxiety, unions stood up for hard-working but vulnerable families, protecting them from physical and economic exploitation.”


    THIS Pawlenty : “Unionized public employees are making more money, receiving more generous benefits, and enjoying greater job security than the working families forced to pay for it with ever-higher taxes, deficits and debt.”

    sorry for hogging the space.

  • Brian D

    Pawlenty demonstrated during his eight years as governor that he is incapable of honestly managing a budget and he is equally incapable of finding common ground with the other party. He has done extraordinary damage to this state, leaving behind a budget mess for which he is largely responsible and a fragmented society. He would do as president what he has done as governor. The only people to whom he can appeal are right-wing, uncompromising ideologues. All that said, I can see him winning the Republican nomination. Pawlenty is an incredibly ambitious opportunist and he will do anything to curry the favor of his party.

  • Lynn

    “Tpaw” would be a president without convictions. Just look how he has shifted with the political winds. He is an opportunist who will do whatever he needs to to get elected and then re-elected. Unfortunately for him, that is just what voters don’t like.

  • Iska Waran

    Pawlenty was practically the only grown-up in MN government and did a fantastic job at restraining out-of-control government spending. He was too quick to latch onto the issue of the day, though, like his support for ethanol and (thankfully abandoned) “cap & trade”. He would be a much better president than the current one (not saying much) as long as he isn’t a corporatist tool and he ends the US policy of playing Policeman to the World. Reigning in federal spending must include the military. Why is Obama surgically attached to Jeff Immelt? What are we doing in Libya? I have high hopes for Pawlenty, but not if he continues the corporatist/globalist agenda.

  • Mike Krachmer

    A president with simple answers to complex questions, who can not see past his own sound bite and can not even digest the concept of unintended consequences is not the kind of leadership I am looking for. I am sure Mr. Pawlenty had excellent intentions when he began in politics, but he has become more politician than public servant.

  • Patty

    I believe Tim Pawlenty would be the same president as he was governor. A leader without vision coming from a negative perspective who left our state in worse condition denying all responsibility for his contributions.

  • Steve the Cynic

    I’m quite certain that T-Paw would be a lot less bad as president than Michelle Bachmann would. However, in order to be a great president, a person has to play well with others, which he did not do as governor.

  • Matt

    Pawlenty would be a terrible president. He is overly simplistic and too much of a political chameleon. At times mawkish and then dangerously aloof, Pawlenty has brought Minnesota to a new low.

    By only focusing on cutting government spending and privatizing government services, Pawlenty completely ignored all of the good that government can accomplish. It’s really hard to make government work when you keep breaking it.

    Pawlenty has especially hurt Minnesota’s most vulnerable citizens – the elderly, the poor, and persons with disabilities. Many in Minnesota are WORSE off after the Pawlenty administration.

  • Larry

    Are you talking about the Tim Pawlenty with a southern drawl or the one with the Minnesotan accent? Are you talking about the that ran as a moderate or the one that governed pandering to the right wing for his presidential bid? Are you talking about the one talks about individual responsibility or the one that denied that budget cuts that delayed bridge inspections and created constant patchwork road repair led to the bridge collapse? Are you talking about the one that says that he wants to cut taxes or the one that drove up property taxes to the point of sending some seniors out of their homes? Are you talking about the one who says he is fiscally responsible or the one that delayed payments to school districts who then had to borrow money costing tax payers the interest? Pawlenty should stay out of politics and instead try to get an acting job as “Two-Face” from the Batman series.

  • Jennie

    We have had extraordinarily fine Republican governors. Pawlenty has been an embarrassment to them and the rest of us.

  • http://Charlotte Charlotte Carey

    I just finished listening to Kerri Miller’s great program about narcissistic, self – deceptive Americans. There in a nutshell is the kind of president a Tim Pawlenty would be. We Americans need to get over this idea that “anyone can grow up to be president”. We don’t need another “just anyone”. We desperately need the exceptional qualities of leadership, intelligence and selfless courage that gave us the Founding Fathers and Presidents like Lincoln and FDR. Sadly, there seems to be no one like that in the picture.

  • Kevin VC

    First off what has Tim done?

    Other then displaces taxes to a regressive revenue stream, ignored the idea of cost increases, let a bridge collapse that made Minnesota’s both Die, get injured, and embarassed, spend most of his time elsewhere while his state economy floundered?

    Seriously, what did Tim do?

    I know, pander to the Rich Plutocrats…..

    He sure as shamrock shakes did not improve the economy, improve education, make taxes more progressive, improve retraining of the unemployed so they can return to the work force, enhance grants and scholarships for promising students who can not attend college thus improving Minnesota’s economy, fix highways, prepare for river flooding, or live up to his comments of “Show me the dead Canadians!”

    No Tim will be a waste of a president. Kinda like George W Bush Jr, only MEEKER…… And even less caring about the state of the state….

  • Linda

    I think all we have to look at is the state he left the Minnesota in. He is sort of a chamelion–a Minnesota son of Paul Bunyon, a slow talking son of the South. In other words, a phony. Just look up the definition of Chamelion. How great is that in dealing with the leaders of other countries? Please, NO!

  • Chris

    He would be a joke and an embarrassment to Minnesota. I think the way he left this state was totally irresponsible. We basically didn’t have a governor for over a year. For him to brag about his accomplishments is absolutely ridiculous. Now think about the damage this delusional quack would do to our great nation.

  • Tina

    Are you kidding me, what a joke. It makes me angry just to hear his name and president mentioned in the same sentence. He couldn’t take care of our state, how can he take care of the United States.

  • sunny

    Tim Pawlenty has already demonstrated his willingness to go out of his way to ascribe to the same tone, verbiage, and sound bite answers as other top conservative leaders. He is stubborn, argumentative, and arrogant and I can only imagine becoming president would enhance these characteristics. Totally agree with prudyann – I hope we never have to find out the answer to this question!

  • Robert Carlson

    Tim Pawlenty seems to be trying to out-Bachmann and out-Palin the bigger name GOP stars.

  • Kara

    The same type of ineffectual divisive politician he was as governor. Ghastly.

  • Curt

    It’s been said that the best predictor of future actions, is to look at one’s past. If this is indeed true, the prospects of Tim Pawlenty being a good president are quite slim. He seems to have a very limited knowledge of international affairs. His agenda is to un-do the policies that were put into effect with the New Deal. He panders to the business lobby. He believes that reduction or elimination of all entitlements is the answer to the state and national financial problems. He left Minnesota with a huge debt, while claiming to have left office having improved the state financial situation. He’s widely held as being perhaps the worst Governor the state of Minnesota has ever had. I think his past record are a pretty good indication of what kind of president this man would be.

    I’m amused at the character he’s trying to project in his failed book. That of a poor working class boy, growing up in South St. Paul. A book, by the way, that has been an utter failure if you use sales as an indication of success.

    Tim Pawlenty has come and gone as far as his political career goes. Hopefully, when this futile attempt to gather support for higher office fails, as it surely will, Pawlenty will fade into history as an ambulance chasing lawyer. His skills seem to be more suited for that profession.

  • Lawrence

    I can’t see him being an effective President. For 8 years, his budgets never balanced in Minnesota, in spite of all those cuts he made to human services and taxes. Hard to see him doing much better with the larger and more complext federal budget. He doesn’t have any foreign affairs experience. Even if he did, he wasn’t able to attract foreign or domestic investment to Minnesota. Then, there’s his short record on job growth (his administrations never did grow too many jobs). And if these aren’t issues enough, he’s been exploring this run for President well before his last term ended. To me, I think he’s trying to collect a lot of under the table money for this Presidential campaign – money that the rules say he doesn’t have to release to the public. That kind of shady dealing has no place in Washington.

  • John

    Just as Gov. Pawlenty sold out Minnesota to bolster his Presidential ambitions, I could see him selling out America to further his right-wing credentials and supporting the rich who will feather his post-presidential nest. He stands for nothing and will do nothing to restore the spice which once defined what it meant to be American. We as Minnesotans must do all we can to educate America on how worthless Pawlenty was to Minnesota and would be for America.

  • Elizabeth T

    Better than some, worse than others/many.

    Obscenely pandering to the rich & stupid during his 2nd term which he got by deluding America into thinking he’s a moderate during his first term.

    Now … if only he could only leave the USA with a 6 million dollar deficit, I would consider him an economic genius.

  • Laura

    Years ago, I had had plenty of Pawlenty. Look at who Tim Pawlenty has represented the past few years; not the people of Minnesota, but himself.

    T-Paw would make a terrible president – look at the mess he left Minnesota. He is unauthentic and his values do not represent the majority of Minnesotans – heck he never even won a governor’s race with a majority of the voters.

    Hopefully, we will never discover what kind of president that Tim Pawlenty will make, because he will never get that far.

  • Gordon near Two Harbors

    I think Pawlenty would be better off running for Governor of Alabama.

    There was a time when I thought the guy was marginally OK, but as he has morphed into some kind of backwards looking phony, it has become clear that he, like most politicians, has absolutely no clue as to how to move toward solving America’s worsening fiscal, economic, energy, and health care problems.

  • Pete

    1. He would be a very poor president. He was A very poor governor.

    2 His only public policy was no new taxes. As a result, our rankings in educational achievement and health care have declined, and MInnesota is no longer the distinctive state we have all been proud of.

    3. His program for economic development was a spectacular failure.

    4. He is not a leader. A hockey player, ice fisherman, and an outdoor cook, maybe. A leader, no.

  • steve

    I hope we don’t see this. I don’t think he started off this way, but he did not have any leadership skills and no grand vision of the state. Tom Emmer, while I disagreed with him on most every issue, had a vision. Dayton does too. You are free to agree or disagree with them, but they have said what their vision is.

    T-Paws success as governor (winning twice) was due to not having a vision so people, I think, projected onto him their vision. He is a blank slate and hopefully will fade away.

  • Linda

    Surely the people of this country have enough wisdom to keep that from happening.

  • Matthew

    Tim Pawlenty would be a fiscally irresponsbile — dare I say fiscally sadistic — president with no long-term vision for America who will allow China and India surpass us in every field and endeavor.

  • Wanda McCaa

    I fear he would be the president who makes up his mind and then refuses to listen to any facts to the contrary. He has shown no compassion for the unwealthy in Minnesota and I think he would be just the president of the rich and powerful and not of the whole country.

  • Dan

    Tim Pawlenty would be no less disastrous as President of the United States than he was as Governor of Minnesota.

  • Nancy

    Pawlenty turned into some other person the minute he started considering the run for the White House. It really makes me mad when these politicians “get religion” for the country to see. He may have had it before, and kept it to himself, which he should continue to do. He is not a leader, he doesn’t have the personality for it. Give it time, the rest of the country will learn what we in Minnesota already know.

  • Marblet

    He has demonstrated himself to be shallow, oily, opportunistic and sadly, obedient to his corporate overlords. I hold out no hope hope he could change.

  • Marly Keller

    As president he would be rigid, arrogant, pious, uncaring about the needy and punitive if Republicans crossed party lines as he was to the MN legislature.

  • Torgy

    I left the Republican party because of politicians like Tim Pawlenty and George W. Bush — neoconservatives who did more to ruin this country in ten years than communism did over a period of 60 years. If Pawlenty stands any chance of winning the presidential election, it will be because the majority of Americans suffer from profound memory loss.

  • John

    He is slick politician who can look at black, call it white, and believe it-

  • Dakota

    Tim Pawlenty was a terrible governor. He was selfish, arrogant, rude, and divisive. He never once compromised. He never tried to bring our state together. Instead he tried to promote hate and division in the state capital. Divide and conqueor, that was his motto. I would hate to see his divisive nature rip the entire country apart.

  • Marco Good

    TPaw is a chameleon in the proud tradition of Nixon. Even if he has to slash the budget of HCMC, he’s happy to do it to give to the rich. Robin Hood in reverse.

  • Steve the Cynic

    “Surely the people of this country have enough wisdom to keep that from happening.”

    I used to think things like that, until GWB won the 2004 election, when we voters surely should have known better.

  • E

    Anyone who sees Pawlenty as fiscally responsible does not truly understand the budget and economics. Postponing payments to school districts does not fulfill an obligation to actually balance the budget and in my world, is not “responsible”. Forcing local goverments to raise property taxes sure looks like a tax increase in my book.

    Pawlenty as president would be a drastic step backward for 95% of America, but hey the top 5% would surely prosper.

  • Owen Strand

    The previous comments may or may not be accurate, but they all miss what most concerns me which is his evangelical religious zeal and frequent references to faith and religion. Does anyone remember the First Amendment?

  • Ron Converse

    I think he should run. “W” needs some competition for the “worst president ever”.

  • Thgomas

    He would refuse to be involved in important policy debates beyond a flat `take it or leave it’ statement. He would adopt all sorts of weird accents while shoving responsibility down the chain of responsibility. Perhaps he should be put in charge of Lybia. They would not tolerate his nonsense as long as Minnesotans did and give him the bum’s rush.

  • Mary

    to put it simply – BAD! He was a bad governor, why would he be anything different as president!

  • wayne pauluk

    What would he do as President? Run for EU president? He never provided leadership. His only way of leading is by blocking other’s initiatives. I don’t know why people like him. I think he is prickly and passive-aggressive.