Jack Thompson, commenting on the RGA conference he covered for Human Events, paints a picture of Tim Pawlenty which is not very flattering. He also says the Minnesota governor seemed to be positioning himself not only to lead the "reformer" wing of the party, but to make a run for its 2012 presidential nomination:
Pawlenty used his time at yesterday’s roundtable discussion to cast himself as the “modern” Republican while casting aspersions on the traditional conservative message, calling for outreach to the “new demographics,” deriding the GOP for allegedly being 15 years behind in the use of the Internet, and calling for the party not to be led by “a crank.” Pawlenty appears to have John McCain’s penchant for attacking conservatives rather than those in the other party.
Pawlenty in Miami was publicly angry, agitated, and even cranky, possibly because he found himself at odds with the far more conservative tone of every other speaker here. Hundreds of RGA members, who paid thousands of dollars to attend this Conference, wildly applauded “red meat” conservative pronouncements by speakers and not the more moderate and conservative-jabbing words by Pawlenty...
I don't like the "reformist" and "traditionalist" labels currently being applied to the more conservative and moderate factions, repectively, that are fighting over the wheel to determine who gets to steer the future course of the U.S.S. GOP. IMO, those who want to return the party to its Reagan roots are the real reformers, so off the charts have been the Republicans ever since the Contract With America got lost in the rush to outspend the Democrats using the taxpayers' dollars and grow the size of the federal government more than they. But that's another debate.
If Pawlenty does, in fact, become the leader of the moderates, who will carry the banner for the conservatives?