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Pawlenty at the RNC: A Goldilocks presentation

Pawlenty at the RNC: A Goldilocks presentation
By Eric Black

Gov. Pawlenty spoke to the Republican National Committee last week in San Diego, but, other than a one-time livesteam of it on CNN.com, which I missed, the speech didn’t show up online until the weekend. Below are two YouTubes of different excerpts for those who want to see this presentation, which seems to be in its development stages. Befiore I give you the videos, a few comments:

It’s best to view the speech as a work in progress, as Pawlenty seeks to development a shtick for party audiences that will continue his momentum as an undeclared candidate for the 2012 Repub nomination. It contains a number of lines familiar to those that have seen his last few speeches, and a few new ones we haven’t heard before, but nothing particularly memorable.

I called it a goldilocks presentation because TPaw seems to be going for the not-too-hot-not-too-cold approach. He has staked his early reputation on being the guy who is not angry and knows how to talk to moderates. Key words: “hopeful, optimistic, positive.” In every recent speech, including this one, he says, in a respectful tone, that Obama says the government is out of money so “with all due respect Mr. President, stop spending it.”

Pawlenty’s opening joke was that Obama is making big progress on climate change: “He’s turning the political climate of our country, back toward Republicans.” I would have predicted a bigger reaction from the GOP crowd to that one, but on the tape you can hear little laughter or applause.

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But on Thursday, he also experimented with some stronger attack lines. His most over-the-top comment, which is not in these videos but showed up in the AP coverage of the speech, was a reference to Obama’s health care plan as “a scheme that would make Bernie Madoff blush.” That’s a little too Laugh-ish for Mr. Positive and Civil.” And then his weird experiment with media-bashing:

“The only thing growing faster than the federal deficit is Chris Matthews man crush on Barack Obama.”

In general, the speech seems to be have caused few ripples. But if you’d like to see the Guv work on his material, here are two portions, both compiled, for some reason by the Ohio GOP. The first one is eight minutes of excerpts from throughout the speech:

 

 

And the second is just 2:10 on the importance of fiscal restraint: