Saturday, April 28, 2007

Tim Pawlenty: Icon or Iconoclast?

Via PowerLine, we're led to this article. The excerpt begins with a Pawlenty-ism which was first seen here coming from a leading Wisconsin conservative.

It was back in 2002 that Pawlenty first said the GOP needed "to be the party of Sam's Club, not just the country club." Back then his embrace of his state and regional populist tradition was a curiosity, a political epiphenomenon lost in a national sea of regnant Bush Republicanism. Today Bush Republicanism is on its way out. The most successful GOP governors--Arnold Schwarzenegger in California, Rick Perry in Texas, Charlie Crist in Florida, and former governor Mitt Romney in Massachusetts--like their conservatism à la carte. They emphasize certain conservative policies--low taxes most of all--but dismiss others. Meanwhile, in Washington policy circles, wonks and flacks are busy sketching out an alternative Republican agenda that combines social conservatism with an active government tailoring economic policies to help working families. Pawlenty's slogan--"The party of Sam's Club"--is the working title on a forthcoming book from Doubleday by WEEKLY STANDARD contributors Ross Douthat and Reihan Salam.

PowerLine credits Pawlenty's populism for his election victories in Minnesota (he's Republican, Minnesota is quite Democrat,) and that's the context which is important.

While Aaaaaahhhhhhnold's endorsement of ESCR (and Romney's de-facto ordering of Gay Marriage) are not exactly populist-driven stances, I suspect they may be outliers.


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