Someone Talk Me Down: I Think I Like Tim Pawlenty

Something weird is happening, because after reading that former Minnesota governor and current Republican Presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty flat-out called his prior support of cap-and-trade “a mistake” and hearing him lay out his conservative credentials and display a little balls and fight on the Rush Limbaugh Show this afternoon, I think I’m starting to like him as a candidate.

Am I out of my mind here? What am I missing? I mean, he didn’t have to go to Iowa and tell them it’s time to end ethanol subsidies.  He could have just kept his mouth shut on it or soft-soaped it. Tomorrow he’s going to Florida to tell old people that it’s time to reform Social Security in a meaningful way (not for them, of course, he’s not suicidal).  The next day he’s going to New York and telling Wall Street it’s time to stop relying on bailouts.

On Social Security: “Our national debt, combined with Obamacare, have placed Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid in real peril. I’ll tell young people the truth that over time and for them only, we’re going to gradually raise their Social Security retirement age.

On Wall Street: “I’m going to New York City, to tell Wall Street that if I’m elected, the era of bailouts, handouts, and carve outs are over. No more subsidies, no more special treatment. No more Fannie and Freddie, no more TARP, and no more ‘too big to fail.’”

On card check: “No card check – not now and not ever. … The National Labor Relations Board will never again tell an American company where it can and can’t do business.”

On his background: “In Washington, Barack Obama has consistently stood for higher taxes, more spending, more government, more powerful special interests, and less individual freedom,” he said. “In Minnesota, I cut taxes, cut spending, instituted health care choice and performance pay for teachers, reformed our union benefits, and appointed constitutional conservatives to the Supreme Court.”

I’ve always thought he is electable, but now I’m starting to think he’s acceptably conservative and willing to punch Obama in the rhetorical balls a little bit.

What am I missing?