Friday, August 29, 2008

Charlie says: "Love that Good & Plenty"

Rumors are flying tonight that John McSame may pick Gov. Tim Good & Pawlenty (R-Bridge Collapse) for his Veep candidate.

While not being as exciting as the candy, Pawlenty has this going for him: not a damn thing.

Oh sure, he's white, married to a woman, white, young, white, male, not as old as McCain, not nearly as tall as Romney. In other words, he won't step on the boss' toes.

But McCain has at times been cranky with Pawlenty:
"The bridge in Minneapolis didn't collapse because there wasn't enough money," McCain told reporters. "The bridge in Minneapolis collapsed because so much money was spent on wasteful, unnecessary pork-barrel projects."

That had prompted a mild rebuke from Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, a backer of McCain's, who told reporters that they should not necessarily accept the senator's analysis that a Minneapolis bridge collapse stemmed from wasteful federal spending.

Pawlenty, one of McCain's co-chairmen and someone who is sometimes referred to as a possible GOP vice presidential nominee, said citizens should not jump to conclusions about the bridge collapse until the National Transportation Safety Board completes its investigation of the incident.

Interesting. But even conservatives have some trouble with Pawlenty:
Another political analyst says the scrutiny of Gov. Pawlenty is just beginning. Norman Ornstein, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, says the ongoing bridge investigation will raise many questions about the Pawlenty administration and state transportation policy.

"What happened to transportation bills? What was the governor's role in allocating resources for transportation? What's happened to the inspection process? How much of an emphasis was placed on doing repair work of rebuilding work of this infrastructure?" Ornstein said.

Ornstein says the 35W collapse has highlighted a nationwide problem with aging roads and bridges, and will influence the debate on government spending.

Pawlenty has gained a lot of national attention, and been mentioned as a possible vice presidential running mate, by championing tax cuts and less government. But Ornstein says that approach to governing could now cause problems for Pawlenty.

"Gov. Pawlenty has vetoed some transportation bills, talked about restraining government. And if it turns out that that restraint, so that we could keep from having more taxes, came at the expense of infrastructure repair, he's going to have some explaining to do," Ornstein said.

Ornstein also says the gas tax flip-flip could hurt Pawlenty. He says the level of damage will depend on whether Pawlenty's political opponents make the governor look like a hypocrite, or paint him as someone trying to reverse a bad policy decision. Ornstein also says Pawlenty has now lost the signature message of his governorship.

Of course, the GOP would like to "Look, over there! Shiny objects!":
It’s a year today since the Minneapolis bridge collapse that killed 13 people, but don’t expect Gov. Tim Pawlenty to showcase the reconstruction.

Indeed, with the Republican National Convention in St. Paul just a month away and Pawlenty reported to be high on John McCain’s running mate list, Republicans want to drive attention away from the infrastructure disaster that spotlighted the nation’s crumbling bridges and from the criticism the governor faced for what some critics said was a slow response.

. . . “The anniversary of the bridge collapse is this Friday, and the convention isn’t for a month after that. The two things aren’t really related,” said Pawlenty spokesman Brian McClung.

Republicans say they would rather not dampen the convention by revisiting an old tragedy.

But critics suspect the GOP wants to prevent embarrassing a potential vice presidential nominee and avoid drawing attention to Congress’ slow response to the infrastructure crisis.

OK, it's only one disaster. It was only 13 people dead from absent government leadership. It's not Katrina/Iraq/9-11/Al-Qaeda. Heck, no one ever suggested that the victims were lucky:
And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this is working very well for them."
The case can be made that Tim "Grover Norquist" Pawlenty has been a fiscal idiot. But wait, that's what a Republican is.


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