Former guv and future candidate for prez Tim Pawlenty routinely invokes his blue-collar roots in the meatpacking town of South St. Paul. As David Bernstein of the Boston Phoenix noted in his review of Pawlenty’s autobiography, Pawlenty doesn’t offer much of an explanation for how this son of a union man turned out to be a pro-corporate Republican.
Dem Congressman Keith Ellison of Minneapolis takes the analysis to the next level, in an interview with the liberal blog/news site Think Progress, asserting that Pawlenty simply has “no connection” to his blue-collar roots.
Given the ideological/political distance between Pawlenty and Ellison (who served as a Minnesota legislator during the early days of Pawlenty’s gubernatorial tenure), Ellison’s feelings are not surprising, but the comment is pretty tough. Said Ellison to ThinkProgress in re: Pawlenty:
“He’s going to get up there on the course of this presidential campaign and tell you all about how his father was a truck driver in South St. Paul. Well you know what, that was a long time ago. And he has no connection to that any more. And I would only imagine what he would do to the truck drivers of South St. Paul today.
“He doesn’t want to pay them right; he doesn’t want them to have drink (sic) clean water; he doesn’t want their kids going to college — they can go but he doesn’t want to pay for it — he doesn’t really care if they go or not. And so, this is the kind of world that Tim Pawlenty would create.”