The Fix has an advance copy of Gov. Tim Pawlenty's new book Courage to Stand. In it, the former Minnesota governor and prospective GOP presidential candidate defends his colleague Sarah Palin and takes a few shots at her critics. Here are a few examples:
* "Those who blame the loss that November, even in part, on [McCain's] choice of Sarah Palin as running mate lose sight of the big picture. In truth, it didn't matter whom he would have picked. Once the economy collapsed, Barack Obama was going to win that election."Aaron Blake, one of Chris Cillizza's contributors at The Fix, attributes Pawlenty's positive treatment of Gov. Palin in his book to the fact that, like the 2008 GOP vice presidential candidate, Pawlenty would like to share her "regular American" image. Plus, Blake opinies, if Sarah Palin decides not to run in 2012, Pawlenty's fair treatment of her might help him win her endorsement.
* On his conversation with McCain after the pick was announced: "I told him it was a gutsy pick. A good pick."
* "On the basis of executive leadership experience alone, [Palin] had many times the experience of McCain's opponent."
* On anti-Palin rhetoric: "The presumption behind such comments is that if you don't fit a certain mold, somehow you're incapable. Baloney. You don't accomplish what Sarah Palin accomplished if you're incapable."
* "So this idea that you can only be wise and correct if you are from one of the great educational or political institutions on the East Coast -- I just don't buy that."
Though we're sure all that is at least part of Pawlenty's political calculus, perhaps there's another reason that Blake never even considered. Maybe, just maybe, Pawlenty takes Reagan's "Eleventh Commandment" seriously. Though we're not big backers of the idea of a Pawlenty presidential candidacy, we've never had any doubts about his personal character. And though he's not considered a movement conservative by many in the GOP base, the former Minnesota governor at least had the common conservative sense to endorse Doug Hoffman, rather than the traitorous Dede Scozzafava in the 2008 NY-23 Congressional race.
Related: In an ABC News “Nightline” interview scheduled to air tonight, Pawlenty said Gov. Palin is a "force of nature" to be reckoned with:
“If she wanted to compete for the presidency, I think she has the tools to do it,” Pawlenty said of Palin, who he called a “friend” and “remarkable leader.”- JP
“I don’t think it’s fair to say people are afraid of her,” he said. “It’s fair to say she is somebody who’s got a lot of influence and can use it for good, if she chooses to.”
“I’ve got a long way to go to get people to even know my name, much less worrying about whether I could beat, you know, the force of nature that is Sarah Palin.”