Could Minnesota shutdown hurt Pawlenty?

A New York Times story this morning looks at the potential problems that the Minnesota government shutdown could cause for former Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s campaign.

The story looks at the shutdown in the context of the conventional wisdom that being a governor better prepares a candidate than being a legislator:

“…because of that executive experience and the lack of a lengthy Congressional voting record. But spending four or eight years at the helm of a state government can also create a record that proves problematic, especially at a time — like now — when the states they led are struggling economically.”

Says the story:

In a late-evening news conference in St. Paul, Mr. Pawlenty sought to turn the situation to his advantage. He lashed out at Democrats in St. Paul and Washington for what he called a “thirst for more spending and more taxes.”

But the potential of a shutdown in the state that Mr. Pawlenty led until six months ago provides fresh ammunition to his Democratic critics and, potentially, to his Republican rivals. Democrats blame Mr. Pawlenty for budget maneuvers that they say helped cause a $5 billion budget shortfall. Mr. Pawlenty says runaway spending by the Legislature and the Democratic governor is to blame.

“I think the upcoming deficit is preposterous in the sense that it’s based on a massive increase in spending,” Mr. Pawlenty told reporters. “If the state government would simply live within the revenues it has available, it wouldn’t have any deficit at all.”

Mr. Pawlenty’s aides argued Thursday night that the story of his record as governor is a positive one. And it’s possible that the state budget crisis could provide Mr. Pawlenty an opportunity to appeal to conservative voters who appreciate his antitax position.

But the headlines Thursday evening are a reminder that issues from a governor’s tenure have a way of bubbling back up to the surface when they are running for president.

 Of course, being in Congress tor has its share of pitfalls, too:

Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota enjoys the benefits of touting her conservative voting record to Tea Party voters in Iowa and elsewhere. But she also has to answer critics who say her legislative record has few major accomplishments.

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Comments (6)

  1. Submitted by Nancy Gertner on 07/01/2011 - 12:18 pm.

    Biggest Loser. Politically. Pawlenty. Minnesota ShutDown. Don’t know that anyone benefits in any way from this shut down. But the biggest damage, politically speaking, is probably on former Minnesota Governor Pawlenty.

  2. Submitted by Tom Christensen on 07/01/2011 - 06:56 pm.

    Pawlenty has spent over two years damaging himself with the position of the day that he comes up with. He is continually looking for something to stick for him. Hard to do when all the positions he gets behind are old and new bogus Republican talking points. We had 8 disaterous years of Pawlenty and already America has had enough of him. He has been beaten by everyone entering the race except Fred Karger, who ever he is.

  3. Submitted by Lora Jones on 07/01/2011 - 09:44 pm.

    King Tim needs to start praying for a biblical plague to decimate his opponents, and leave only him standing. That may have been his plan. He’s neither Regional enough, nor Pure enough for the Republican Primary Voter. If he’s not betting on being Second Choice and in by defaut, he’s been out of the running before he began.

  4. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 07/02/2011 - 09:14 am.

    Pawlenty has always been a poster child for mediocrity at best. The only actual accomplishment he can point to is the Twins Stadium. The fact that he didn’t raise taxes will not impress any great number off people. When they find out his tax policies created one of the biggest deficits in the US they’ll just even more non-plussed.

    It is funny that he blames someone else for the deficits. The job of the executive is to run the government, and that means properly funding it. Apparently he sees the shutdown as a asset on his resume.

  5. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 07/02/2011 - 09:39 am.

    The other thing that’s interesting, no one seems to be pointing out… this is STILL Pawlenty’s budget. Whatever “huge” new spending he’s talking about flows out of his last budget. The deficit is projected from Pawlenty’s last budget. He’s always been a economic moron.

  6. Submitted by will lynott on 07/03/2011 - 08:50 pm.

    What legislative accomplishments does MB have, anyway? Right off hand, I can’t think of a thing.

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