A Washington Post today says Tim Pawlenty’s secret weapon might be his wife, Mary Pawlenty.
And he might need the help:
Pawlenty will spend much of the next two weeks criss-crossing Iowa in a pull-out-all-the-stops effort to improve his lackluster standing in most recent polls of the Republican presidential field. His goal: a strong showing at next month’s closely watched Ames Straw Poll, a key test of organizational strength six months ahead of the first-in-the-nation Iowa caucuses.
Until now, Mary Pawlenty hasn’t been seen all that often on the campaign trail, although Pawlenty almost always mentions her in his stump speech:
Usually, Pawlenty explains away his wife’s absence on the campaign trail with this quip about her parenting obligations back home in Eagan, Minn.: “I have two teenage daughters. One is 18 and one is 14. They both like boys and one of them drives.”
The line always draws a laugh, and Pawlenty always follows up with a promise to bring Mary along next time.
“She’s going to be campaigning with me in Iowa soon,” Pawlenty said to an approving crowd of about 50 voters in Waterloo recently. “I hope you have a chance to meet her; we’ve been married 23 years.”
But now it’s Mary to the rescue, as she’s begun taking on a larger role:
Not only will she accompany him for the first half of a weeklong swing through Iowa beginning Monday, but she is featured prominently in a new video that debuted last week and focuses on the Pawlentys’ faith.
And the story concludes:
The Pawlenty campaign declined to make Mary Pawlenty available for an interview, but released a biography that described her as an “integral” part of her husband’s political career.
“She’s sincere, authentic, smart and connects with people,” Pawlenty spokesman Alex Conant said. “Importantly, she’s also very supportive.”