Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Wecome to "Party of Pawlenty"

Welcome to "Party of Pawlenty"

Why the Party of Pawlenty?

Some say great leaders are defined by their time; by a particular moment in history.

Others say great leaders transcend their time.

Tim Pawlenty does both.

At a time when the Republican Party has suffered significant losses at the ballot box, Tim Pawlenty is a leader who transcends time but at the same time is exactly what the Republican Party needs in order to regain its brand, its image and its foothold in American politics.

Matthew Continetti writes in his Weekly Standard piece, “Tooting the Horn of Pawlenty; Meet the first Sam’s Club Republican,”

The most important speech at the 2007 Conservative Political Action Conference, held in early March at a Washington hotel, didn't come from any of the Republicans running for president. It came from Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty, one of the few Republican success stories in 2006--he was reelected with 47 percent of the vote--and a rising star in a party that's been knocked back on its heels.

Far before that, Governor Pawlenty’s rise to prominence and the reasons why his style and brand of conservatism is needed at this time in history for the GOP really became apparent at the very beginning of Pawlenty’s first term in office. As Coninetti writes,

Pawlenty's first task on assuming office was to confront the state's $4.2 billion budget deficit. The newly elected governor had promised to erase the deficit without raising taxes. He did so. And he kept busy. He signed a law requiring a waiting period for abortions and another allowing permit-holders to carry concealed firearms. He threw out the state's lax education requirements and passed new, tougher standards. He won passage of a drug reimportation bill. He poured resources into alternative energy--one of his favorite subjects and proudest accomplishments. He talks with rare interest about biodiesel and cellulosic ethanol and wind power.

Governor Pawlenty has remained a staunch conservative voice, holding the line on taxes and spending despite intense pressure from the Left. He has moved the ball forward on important social issues such as the protection of life, and defense of the 2nd Amendment. At the same time, he has been an unapologetic leader on issues the GOP has all too often shied away from. On issues such as healthcare reform, the environment and energy independence, he has been able to lead in a conservative way on many of the bread and butter issues too often associate with the Democratic Party.

Perhaps this is why, looking forward, DaveG over at writes that for the GOP to have a chance at success, the Party of Pawlenty has to win over voters who he defines as, “Pawlenty Democrats.”

In race after race, Republican politicians were defeated in the Midwest, both incumbents and non-incumbents, both moderates and conservatives. The sole survivor of the Late Unpleasantness sits still in the governor’s mansion of the State of Minnesota. He is a rising star of the GOP, and a man who can possibly clue Republicans into just how to cobble together an electoral majority in 2008. I am referring, of course, to Gov. Tim Pawlenty.

If the GOP is to win in 2008, it will have to figure out how to win back what I call the “Pawlenty Democrats” of 2006 — Midwestern voters who cast ballots for Democrats in other races but who split their tickets in Minnesota to re-elect T-Paw.

Some believe that the GOP in 2006 lost its brand. The GOP gained the perception of being the party of big spending Government and lost the moral high ground it once had as it was plagued by scandal. In the waning days of the 2007 legislative session in Minnesota, Governor Pawlenty stood up to tha big spending image, wielding his veto pen like a sword striking down tax increases and big spending bills sent to him by the Democratically controlled state legislature.

Governor Pawlenty has become the GOP brand.

He is steadfast in his defense of the taxpayer, unimpeachable with his Boy Scout character, and unapologetic about confronting the issues that affect working men and women such as health care, education and the environment.

Republicans from coast to coast can be proud of this new voice, and new face for our shared conservative values.

We invite you to check back often as we track the development of Governor Pawlenty’s leadership and track the Party of Pawlenty’s reclaiming of its rightful place as the majority governing party in Minnesota and across the country.

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