The Unofficial Backgrounder For Getting To Know Tim Pawlenty

For the national news media scurrying to cover Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty’s impending Vice Presidential nomination by Mitt Romney, here are a few facts that may not be included in the Romney for President news release:

The “Fees”.  Like any obedient GOP presidential aspirant, Tim Pawlenty HATES him some taxes.  He will stress this fact dozens of times per speech.  But the less publicized aspect of our former governor is that he actually loves him some “fees.”  GOP former Minnesota Governor Arne Carlson points out that Pawlenty actually passed the largest tax increases in Minnesota history.  But national reporters should not listen to people like Arne Carlson.  Fees are revenue collected from citizens by government so the government can provide services, and national reporters should understand that is completely different from a “tax.”  Reporters covering Pawlenty will need to take a crash course on how to speak Pawlentese.

The Body.  You thought our Governor, Jesse “The Body” Ventura, had a great physique?  Well, Pawlenty is also very proud of his willowy figure.  In fact, he is so proud of his bod that he actually found a way to awkwardly shoehorn into an ad the fact that he has “a 34-inch waist.”  I kid you not.  Strangest ad claim ever. Take that, Christie!  However, it should be noted that Politifact has not yet verified the claim.

The “TPaw.”  Just so you know, in Minnesota, we like to call him TPaw.  Why, you ask?  Because Minnesotans are all a bunch of urban hipsters?  Because local gangstas bestowed that street name out of admiration for the Guv’s swag?   No, actually we call him TPaw because Pawlenty’s handlers started calling him that in some kind of shallow attempt to broaden his demographic appeal.  And when we Minneosotans repeated it, we thought it made us sound AWESOME.

The “Red-Hot Smokin’ Wife.”  Get used to hearing that, because Tim Pawlenty says it, and says it, and says it some more.  The red-hot smokin’ line is borrowed from the critically acclaimed film Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby.   You see, Pawlenty isn’t from the south, but he has carefully studied movies mocking southern culture in order to strengthen his appeal in the south.

The Hockey Brain.  In Minnesota, if you’re not a professional wrestler, you are required to be a hockey player to serve as Governor.  It’s in the Constitution. Current Governor Mark Dayton was an All State goalie, and in his day Tim Pawlenty took his share of sticks to the temple.  We Minnesotans try to keep this in mind when Pawlenty can’t seem to recall that he used to support Romneycare insurance mandates and a cap-and-trade policy.

The Occassional Twang.  It’s not easy when a Minn-e-SOH-tan runs for President in a Republican Party increasingly dominated by the south.  But Pawlenty is nothing if not politically malleable.  So now when speaking to southerners, Pawlenty simply drops his “g’s.”  Know what I’m sayin’? And did he mention he’s from SOUTH St. Paul?

The Mullet.  Following on the heels of our first African American President, Tim Pawlenty had a chance to become the first mulletted President. But just as one could always tell that Ted Kennedy was running for President when he lost weight, Minnesotans always knew Pawlenty was preparing to run for President when he cut the mullet, or, alternatively, when the sun rose in the east.  In Minnesota, we still thought the mullet hairstyle was pretty sweet.  But apparently the folks in the Super PAC suites were demanding the Standard Issue Presidential Haircut.  Still, WE know that deep down, there’s a shorty longback itching to return.

So, national reporters, we Minnesotans hope you enjoy covering our former Governor.  You too, national comedians.


Note:  This post also was featured as a “best of the best” on MinnPost’s Blog Cabin feature.

2 thoughts on “The Unofficial Backgrounder For Getting To Know Tim Pawlenty

  1. I don’t know who wrote this article but it’s a good one and I’ve forwarded it on. The writer should know, though, that “occasionally” has only one ‘s.’

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