Monday, January 01, 2007
The Kinder, Gentler Pawlenty
Minnesota governor Smilin' Tim Pawlenty, fresh off his nailbiter of a win over Mike Hatch in an election where the Republicans got their butts handed to them, is continuing his post-election policy of sounding like a Democrat:
After a brush with political death, a reinvigorated Gov. Tim Pawlenty begins his second term this week facing huge DFL majorities in the Legislature and acknowledging that compromise is no longer optional. Promising a change in agenda and tactics for the legislative session, which will convene Wednesday, Pawlenty has already advocated universal health coverage for Minnesotans, proposed free college tuition for the state's top students, and thrown his weight behind expansions of mass transit and greater reliance on renewable fuels. But he hasn't turned into Democratic-lite, Pawlenty added quickly in a recent interview. He remains committed to fiscal conservatism and wants to tie taxpayer money to results, shifting government from what he calls a "seniority culture to a performance culture." But Pawlenty is pragmatic about the seismic shift November's election brought to the political landscape and the direction of his own party. "There has to be a reconciliation of their perspective and my perspective," he said of the newly powerful DFL. At 46, Pawlenty remains boyish, genial, optimistic. But he's less brash, less combative and just a tad grayer than he was in 2003. Back then, backed by a strong Republican House, he all but dared DFLers to cross him and bragged of getting "everything we wanted." Four years' experience with budget crises, legislative gridlock, a state government shutdown and his near-loss in November have tempered Pawlenty's judgment and the sometimes wise-cracking style. Confronted with nearly veto-proof DFL dominance in both legislative chambers, he is open about changing course and style. Dismissing opposing ideas as "profoundly stupid," as he once did, is out.(sarcasm) But all the pundits are saying that the Democrats must move to the right! Why is Pawlenty moving to the left? Could it be that the pundits have their heads up their butts? (/sarcasm)
Great. Should be different from the usual republican policies of cut taxes, spend money you dont have on presents to your cronies in oil industry, and blame democrats and the liberal media.
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