Tim Pawlenty just might have the right stuff for 2012. At the very least, the man certainly speaks good dollars and sense. Which at this particular moment is the one thing Americans want most desperately to hear.
I should mention that the erstwhile Minnesota governor speaks without hyperbole, histrionics, political-shyster sophistry, or sophomoric metaphors, which I, personally, find very refreshing. Governor Pawlenty seems to understand that urgent problems require thoughtful solutions presented in grown-up to grown-up fashion, rather than in some silly politician’s idea of Vaudevillian slapstick. All in all, Pawlenty comes across as a serious man for the serious times in which we unhappily find ourselves living.
I doubt we would ever see Tim Pawlenty photographed wearing sissy shorts, sipping a Slurpee in flip-flops and shades. No, if Pawlenty were president, I sense he would work overtime without bearing a petulant grudge against the job for which he applied. I really can’t see this man demanding a vacation every other day.
No, Pawlenty is definitely of serious-worker quality.
And I’ve yet to see a fawning female groupie faint at his feet. A very positive sign.
Pawlenty went to the University of Chicago this week to give a major let’s-fix-this-damned-economy speech. He unveiled the fundamental elements of his plan, which he is calling “A Better Deal.” This is a bit too much FDR-channeling for my taste, but who knows. Perhaps even those mythical “moderates,” who voted for The One, are smart enough to recognize Obama’s “Raw Deal” — at least every time they try to grab an inflated-priced burger and beer and see the bar’s TV catching their little-people’s-savior president yucking it up at Martha’s Vineyard or ping-ponging through Europe on their dime.
Choosing this venue, the University of Chicago — a mere hop, skip and jump from Barack and Michelle’s Hyde Park mansion — was pure poking-a-finger-in-Obama’s-eye symbolism. Smart move.
The speech, I thought, was quite Reanganesque, despite the FDR-symbolism in its title.
Pawlenty seems to have properly updated his Reaganesque message for our time. Reminding Americans of the ridiculously hailed “Recovery Summer” of last year, Pawlenty reeled off the anything-but-recovered, actual economic vital signs:
- Gas is nearly $4 a gallon.
- Home prices are in the gutter.
- Our health care system — thanks to ObamaCare — is more expensive. And less efficient.
- Unemployment’s back over 9%.
- Our national debt has skyrocketed.
- Our budget deficit has grown worse.
- And the jobs and manufacturing reports are grim.
At this point, T-Paw winked at the “what would Reagan do?” crowd and introduced a prescription of his very own:
If that was a recovery — then our president needs to enter economic rehab. And the American people need to stop his policies. Cold turkey.
The addiction to spending must be brought to a halt. And we must have a president who has a growth agenda. With pro-growth policies I will.
The president wrongly thought the stimulus — the bailouts — and the takeovers were the solution. He says they worked. They did not.
The president is satisfied with a second-rate American economy. Produced by his third-rate policies. I’m not.
Straight talk about the dollars. And lots of common sense.