ABM vs. Tim Pawlenty, Round 1

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It isn’t surprising that the Alliance for a Better Minnesota started attacking Tim Pawlenty before he’s entered the gubernatorial race. This indicates who they see as the most formidable GOP candidate. Without endorsing anyone (I’m not a delegate to the GOP State Convention), this makes sense to me from the standpoint that Pawlenty has won 2 statewide races (in 2002 and 2006). Meanwhile, Jeff Johnson has lost 2 statewide races (in 2006 for attorney general and 2014 as governor)j

Of course, ABM is telling its readers that the moderate Pawlenty is a combination of the worst traits from the Koch Brothers and President Trump. It isn’t surprising that ABM’s fundraising letter focuses on Pawlenty and President Trump. It starts by quoting Gov. Pawlenty as saying “I agree with much of what President Trump is trying to do.” From there, it jumps directly into saying “Those words came straight out of Tim Pawlenty’s mouth last week, before he even announced his latest run for Minnesota Governor. This is why the Alliance for a Better Minnesota is committed to stopping Trumpism in Minnesota and why we’re committed to holding Tim Pawlenty accountable for what he’s said and done.”

Honestly, I’d welcome a spread of “Trumpism” to Minnesota. Compared with the Dayton administration’s incompetence, some Trumpism and, for that matter, Pawlentyism would be refreshing.

Let’s simplify this as much as possible. Tim Walz will have tons of strife with mining because his running mate is a strident environmental activist. Yes, he’ll win that fight but the strife will exist between him and Rep. Flanagan. Rebecca Otto won 1 district in the DFL’s statewide straw poll on the strength of a strong turnout of environmental activists in the Eighth CD. If I had to guess, Otto is the frontrunner because Walz isn’t crazy enough for the activists. That doesn’t mean he isn’t crazy. It just means he isn’t as far left as Otto.