Tim Pawlenty campaigning, not auditioning


It is impossible not to notice where a lot of politicians wind up between and after elected gigs – the airwaves are full of them. Some wind up there after mounting a failed run for a presidential nomination. However, former Republican Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty is making assurances that that is not his goal.

One of the most notable of the Class of 2008 is Mike Huckabee, who did well in the 2008 Republican contest. Though he didn’t do well enough to win, many thought he had built a credible platform from which to mount an even more effective 2012 run, but the former Arkansas governor has elected to keep his broadcasting gigs, including a regular slot on Fox News Network.

Several other current candidates have had commentator gigs on Fox, such as Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum; and other possible candidates still do, notably Sarah Palin.

The New York Times noted that Pawlenty is on the airwaves in Iowa plenty these days, showing up in normal news coverage and showing up some more in paid advertisements.

According to NYT, at a Q&A during a casual breakfast session, Pawlenty said, “I’m not doing this to get a cable TV show or some sort of gig down the road. I’m doing it because the country’s in trouble and we need real leadership to solve the real problems and that’s what I offer. We are not ever going to be the cable TV, shooting star of the month. That’s not my campaign.”

Pawlenty did note the increasing convergence of the entertainment and political worlds, but said that it had nothing to do with his own motivation. And he fully expects the voters to select somebody who can do the job rather than a candidate that has celebrity qualities but lacks in more important ways.