Tim Pawlenty, that is, the rather moderate former-governor of Minnesota. He had made a radical change in his political persona last year, deliberately yanking his views and rhetoric to the far right in the vain hope that he might become this year’s GOP presidential nominee. But he didn’t catch on with the Party’s red-meat right-wingers, so Pawlenty was out before most Americans even knew he was in.
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After losing, he double-clutched and shifted again, becoming co-chair of Mitt Romney’s campaign, a guy he had dissed as not a real conservative during the spring primaries. But being a Mitt bobble-head was a nothing position. Once again, then, Pawlenty departed before anyone knew he was there – or who he is.
So, no doubt you and other inquiring minds are dying to know where the ever-shifting what’s-his-name has shifted to now. I can help you with that: Tim has gone deeper into the political darkness, where even fewer people will see him. He’s the new top-lobbyist in Washington for Wall Street! Pawlenty will head-up the powerful-but-obscure Financial Services Roundtable.
And, once again, he had to shift his views dramatically to get there. Only last year, he was blasting the giant banks for their massive government bailouts and insider deals, demanding that they “get their snout out of the trough.” And now, he’s the snout-in-chief, in charge of filling the trough with special goodies for the Wall Street powers.
Asked about the irony (or dare we say hypocrisy?) of this rebuker of Wall Street becoming its primary Washington defender, the Roundtable’s former chief simply quoted an old inside-the-Beltway axiom: “Where you stand depends on where you sit.”
So at long last we know who Tim is: The poster-boy of Washington’s “ethics of flexibility.”
“About-Face For Bankers’ New Lobbyist,” The New York Times, September 5, 2012.