Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty appears to be slowly testing the waters for a possible bid to be the Republican presidential nominee in 2012. The possible contender is out with a new web video that seeks to appeal to members of the Tea Party movement.
The Washington Post notes that the release of the clip could be an attempt to cozy up to the conservative coalition of activists ahead of other potential contenders like Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich and Michele Bachmann.
Real Clear Politics reports:
But the video is also clearly part of a broader effort to rejigger Pawlenty's image. Often described as an easygoing, mild-mannered Midwestern politician, Pawlenty has been working to exhibit a more fiery side as he looks to feed off the passion of the tea party movement in advance of his likely announcement of a presidential run.
The Post notes that Pawlenty could ultimately have a tough time selling his candidacy to Tea Party supporters because of positions he's taken on various issues. He has a mixed record with causes they care the most about. He hesitantly expressed support for the TARP bailout -- though he has since attacked the Obama administration over its success -- doesn't maintain a record of lowering taxes, and once favored a regional cap-and-trade plan.
Nevertheless, the new spot rolled out by Pawlenty is titled "Tea Party: A New Birth of Freedom." The possible White House contender doesn't waste any time before praising the movement at the beginning of the video.
"We the people of the United States will rise up again," he says in footage featured in the clip. "We will take back our government. This is our country. Our Founding Fathers created it. Americans embraced it. Ronald Reagan personified it. And Lincoln stood courageously to protect it."