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DNC's anti-Pawlenty video: On Day One, first quotes taken out of context

Hours after he posted his own presidential campaign announcement on the web, and hours before his first campaign stop in Iowa, the Democratic National Committee released a light-hearted video detailing Pawlenty's flips on cap-and-trade and his health care cutbacks as governor.

It ends with the question: "Why are you running?"

And it quotes Pawlenty from a recent Time magazine article.

In the first attack on Pawlenty, the DNC takes the quotes out of context.

In the article, Michael Crowley wrote:

"And when I ask Pawlenty, during a second interview in Des Moines, Iowa, exactly when he decided he was up to the grand challenge of the presidency, he answers in less than grandiose terms, explaining how he'd set up a political-action committee in 2009. I try again, saying I am curious about when he first imagined himself worthy of the history books, ready to send soldiers to their deaths and endure the national stage's harsh toll. "I don't know," he replies. "I wish I had a good answer for you on that." Pawlenty says it is not an idea that crossed his mind 15 or 20 years ago but that as he considered life as a relatively young ex-governor, he felt obliged not to take the easy path and "go make some money and play hockey and drink beer."

The DNC video concludes with this question: "Why are you running?"

Then it uses the quotes: "I don't know."

And "I wish I had a good answer for you on that."

The attacks  — fair or unfair — have begun ... even before the campaign has official blasted off.

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Comments (6)

I think that this is going to be a funny year for the Republican presidential process. The Republican party's right wing TeaParty, gun nuts, born-agains, etc, are going to be a big force in deciding who is nominated. What's the chance that will be someone who can attract independent voters, who are the swing voters in the U.S.
The way I read the numbers on the 2010 elections, the Democrats held the Democratic vote, with some drop in participation. Where they lost was in middle age and older independents, who were freaked out by "Obamacare."
So now, in a striking embrace of a losing proposition, the Republican leadership is coming out with a national platform that says: A) Tax increases for the rich are off the table. Non starter. Forget about it.
B) You middle class people are going to have to start paying your own way.
Is this going to work?

Wow, that was embarrassing. Tubas. Circus music. Sarcasm. The cap and trade flip. The obsession with "flips" itself is pretty much the hallmark of inside the beltway garbage. And to think of all they have to work with on Pawlenty.

But the comment here is totally off base. I think the criticism is that the DFL decided to start mud slinging right off the bat. With something that's taken completely out of context.

There's lots of independents out there not because they're undecided, or because they're apathetic about politics. They are independents because the leaders of both parties make a mess of democracy. I don't see how a reasonable person could see this ad and say they're proud to be a Democrat.

Sorry Eric, but to a certain extent you're a perfect example of why the Dems have problems. Look, I can agree about the circus music and a few other details. But "mudslinging right off the bat"? The ad shows how Pawlenty will do a 180 on any position to advance his career. Dems need to show why Obama's the better choice.

Nationally, Dems think they can govern for everyone if they just remain "nice and play well with others". Instead, they give away every issue to a party that's going to oppose them anyway, menawhile angering the folks that DID vote for them! At least Dayton has started off right...."meet me halfway"...if he gives any further, he'll just be Exhibit F as further proof of the Party That's Afraid To Lead.

I think there's a pretty close correlation between not knowing when you decided to run and not knowing why you're running. The ad (probably unintentionally) captures an essential truth about Mr Pawlenty. What marked his tenure as governor, more than anything, was a complete disinterest in actually governing, with all of his actions and statements directed instead toward what he surmised would be the target audience for a presidential run. The tubas strike me as appropriate because with the current confusion about whether one is supposed to be pleasing the establishment Republicans or the Tea Partiers, a run such as Mr Pawlenty's that does not rest on any core values does have the aspect of a clown car chasing around a circus ring.

You can expect this sort of treatment from the democrat party for every republican candidate who they perceive to be a threat to Obama.

And the reason is they can't run on Obama's record. They can't point to 9% unemployment and $4 gasoline and three wars and expect the American people to give their guy four more years.

The latest Rasmussen poll has a generic republican candidate leading Obama by 45% to 43%. So they have to distract the people from Obama's record by ridiculing his potential opponents. Their total disregard for the truth simply illustrates the degree of their desperation.