There’s a famous episode of Seinfeld in which the often-frustrated character George Costanza, played by Jason Alexander, decides that he’s tired of swimming against the tides of New York City life. After one too many failed relationships and career changes, he throws up his arms, and commits to doing the exact opposite of what his instincts tell him. When flirting with a beautiful woman at the local coffee shop, he boasts without shame that he lives at home and is unemployed. Moments later he has her phone number and a date. He carries on this strategy with great success for the remainder of the episode, and thus was borne the Costanza Reversi strategy.
Over the past several days, Governor Tim Pawlenty has begun to employ the same approach while courting would be supporters in Iowa and Florida. Rather than pandering to Iowa corn farmers on ethanol subsidies, or making false promises of about Medicare and social security entitlements to Florida’s senior populace, Pawlenty is doing the exact opposite of almost every politician who’s travelled the roads of early primary and caucus states. He’s throwing down the gauntlet on three of the most sensitive special interests in presidential politics.
New Hampshire conservatives and grass roots activists should take note, for Pawlenty, unlike George Costanza, is a two-time winner from the blue state of Minnesota, who nonetheless brandishes true conservative bona fides. His willingness to take these bold positions so early in the primary cycle clearly differentiates him from the supposed frontrunner Romney, who by comparison is known to wait days, if not weeks before feigning a principled stand.
There are some in the pundit gallery who claim that Pawlenty is an unexciting candidate who faces a deficit of time and money. Granite staters who care about defeating Obama in the next election ought to roundly ignore these prognostications, for there is no more exciting a candidate than an experienced, winning executive who’s demonstrated early and decisive leadership on such critical matters. If there’s a candidate with a deficit in this primary, it’s the one term Governor from the ultra liberal state of Massachusetts, for whom winning, and principled leadership are foreign concepts. Now that’s a deficit for which neither time nor money can reverse.