Locally, the big news from the CPAC conservative gathering in D.C. over the weekend was that Tim Pawlenty and Michele Bachmann finished tied at sixth in the straw polling, both getting 4 percent. Seemed kind of low, especially for Pawlenty, who’s been actively “not quite running” for a couple of years now.
But nationally, there were reports that both of them were regarded winners at CPAC.
Politico listed Pawlenty among its “winners,” saying:
Tim Pawlenty didn’t win CPAC’s straw poll. Like most of the 2012 field, he ended up in the low single digits.
But Pawlenty still managed to show he’s not just the nice-guy candidate for president. Unlike another former governor who spoke at CPAC —– Romney — Pawlenty proudly touted his record as chief executive of a liberal state to argue he’s ready to go toe to toe with Democrats and win at any cost.
“I set a record for vetoes … Had the first government shutdown in Minnesota’s history. Took one of the longest transit strikes in the country’s history to get public employee benefits under control,” Pawlenty said. “The federal government should do the same.”
The Washington Post lists Bachmann as a CPAC winner:
No candidate benefited more from the absence of social-conservative rock stars Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee than the Minnesota congresswoman. Bachmann’s speech kicking off CPAC had the crowd on its feet, and she was surrounded by admirers everywhere she went at the convention.
And in other national news, the New York Times oddly referred to Pawlenty as a funny politician. Funny as in comedic.
In a piece looking at Pawlenty’s assertion that members of Congress should fill out their own tax forms — even though he doesn’t do his own — the paper said politicians rarely intend to be humorous, but that Pawlenty shows promise:
When, in his speeches, he paraphrases the movie “Talladega Nights” and says, “I want to thank the Lord for my smoking-hot wife,” how could you not smile?
The consensus around here has been that the former governor’s attempts at humor usually fall flat. But maybe we’ve just heard his lines too many times.