On Monday, Pawlenty takes over as chairman of the National Governors Association as the organization moves into its centennial year. And by next year, he'll strut his stuff before the Republican establishment when the party's nominating convention comes to town.
Just 46, Pawlenty says he'll stay put until his term ends in 2010, and he won't rule out a bid for a third term. And he denies he's positioning himself for higher office. (excerpt from AP Story)
"You could drive three minutes south of the Minnesota border and nobody would know or care who I am. And that's OK," Pawlenty said in an interview Thursday.
"I'm energetic but I'm not obsessed with what I'm going to do three years from now," he said. "I could very easily be running a nonprofit or fishing on Lake Vermilion or working somewhere internationally. I have no idea." (excerpt from AP Story)
As comfortable in hockey skates as he is in wingtips, Pawlenty often has trouble hiding boyish tendencies from his days growing up in the meatpacking town of South St. Paul. (excerpt from AP Story)
But Pawlenty does have his critics. Senate Assistant Majority Leader Tarryl L. Clark (D) said that while Pawlenty is “likeable and affable,” he also “digs his heels” in and refuses to compromise on certain issues, such as raising taxes. (from the Stateline piece)
To paraphrase Senator Clark as she tried to tear down the governor, "he's too nice as he leads the charge for a vibrant MN economy by letting the private sector flourish. Damn you for being so nice and keeping a lid on taxes."
Check back as he prepares to announce his NGA agenda.