Sunday, November 8, 2009

Pawlenty Has Plenty of Work to do for 2012

Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty is often mentioned as a possible standard bearer for the GOP in 2012.

I just finished watching the speech he delivered last night at an Iowa Republican fundraising event on C-SPAN. It wasn't very good. Pawlenty was trying to be something he isn't - a fiery orator. Taking a cue from President Obama, he frequently asked his audience, "Are you fired up?" They weren't. By all appearances they appeared to be annoyed or on the verge of falling asleep. His anecdotes had little resonance and his jokes fell flat. The audience appeared uncomfortable when he referred to Mary Pawlenty as his "smokin' hot wife." She is quite attractive but it seemed to strike the wrong chord. Only when Pawlenty talked about God towards the end of his speech did I ever sense he connected with the audience.

Pawlenty is a smart guy. He was twice elected as a Republican Governor in a very liberal state. He has more experiencing governing than both Sarah Palin and Mitt Romney. But if he wants to reach a national audience he needs to sharpen his communication skills. Pawlenty does have time to refine his delivery. But he's going to have an uphill battle against Palin and Romney who are more confident in their speaking style and have a bigger fan base.

I also found Pawlenty's choice of entrance music to be odd - "Fortunate Son" by Creedence Clearwater Revival. It's a good song but it's an anti-Vietnam War anthem. Apparently I'm not the only one. If Pawlenty is keen on CCR I would pick a song like "Up Around The Bend." It's much more upbeat. Consider these lyrics that open the song:

There's a place up ahead and I'm goin' just as fast as my feet can fly
Come away, come away if you're goin', leave the sinkin' ship behind

I mean the song is basically saying there's a place to go, come away with me and let's get off this sinking ship. Then again John Fogerty is an Obama supporter. It wouldn't surprise me if he asks Pawlenty to cease and desist if his campaign were to catch on. But that's big if and a maybe. If he's going to mount a serious campaign for the GOP nomination, Tim Pawlenty has plenty of work to do for 2012.

No comments: