Being Honest About Pawlenty Now; Helps Pawlenty Later
If we hype up Pawlenty, the general public is going to be very disappointed. He’s just not that dynamic. Pawlenty is as vanilla as they come and looks comatose next Joe Biden. Remember, the general public has no idea about Joe Biden or Tim Pawlenty. The best thing we can do is play down expectations for him, much like Bush did in the 2000 debates against Gore.
Going crazy over Pawlenty is going to make the average voter scope him out with eager anticipation. I suspect there is going to be a big let down. The line on Pawlenty should be that he is “sound”, “ethical”, “steady”, “blue collar”, “working man”, “reliable”, “competent”, and maybe “likable” and maybe even “boring”. Instill in the public that this is the guy next door. Nothing flashy. Playing the hype game with a guy like Pawlenty is bound to lead to disappointment. Don’t do him a disservice by acting like he’s the second coming of Reagan or is some rock star. He’s just sound, steady, ready ole Tim. The guy next door who you invite to your barbeques.
That’s the Tim Pawlenty that will work for the ticket and not backfire when confronted with hostile media or Joe Biden, who may, I hate to admit, eat him up in the debates. Make people identity with him as an average mullet wearing guy and they’ll sympathize with him if the media and Biden attack him.
Getting all rah, rah about his “charm” and “vibrance” and popularity in Minnesota is too much. Let him operate quietly as McCain’s wingman and try to pick up some votes in Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin.
It’s an okay pick, but its going to be a tough sell after the the public just got large doses of Biden, Obama and the Clintons at the Democratic convention. Pawlenty reminds me a little of keynote speaker Warner who was crushed by the expectations created by his peers. Warner just can’t share a stage with Biden and Hillary and Bill. I fear the same may be true for Pawlenty.