One-time presidential hopeful Tim Pawlenty has been given a dubious honorific by GQ magazine -- they've named him to their list of 2011's "Least Influential People Alive." It's really hard to disagree with that assessment, given that his major achievement in the field of presidential politics was providing transportation to hundreds of Ames Straw Poll attendees who then turned around and voted for Michele Bachmann.
But Pawlenty shouldn't feel too bad -- Speaker of the House John Boehner and President Barack Obama were also named to the list. And what's more, the former Minnesota governor may have the last laugh, as a former aide to Pawlenty today sent Ben Smith a written pitch from a GQ reporter, who had been "pestering" TPaw "for an interview." The salient bit:
I am most intrigued by Tim Pawlenty and would relish the opportunity to bring him to life in the pages of GQ.
I guess you should never underestimate the power of a profile in a glossy newsstand magazine to raise your level of influence. It's obviously worked wonders for Jon Huntsman!
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At least one woman who spent time with Herman Cain and who considers herself to be a real hottie will testify to the fact that Herman Cain showed no interest in sexually harassing her. So, he's got that going for him. [Alex Pareene @ Salon]
James Taranto's thesis seems to be that maybe Mitt Romney lies and takes people's statements out of context in an effort to mislead people, but so does Maureen Dowd, so what's the difference? (The difference is that millions of Americans have no investment in the things Maureen Dowd says.) [Wall Street Journal]
Speaking of which, Jake Tapper, who was willing to call Romney's ad a lie, says that the latest DNC ad attacking Romney "is deceptive and false" and he's right. What's really perplexing is that the DNC could have scored a solid hit if they hadn't overreached. [ABC News' Political Punch]
Brad Phillips rates the debaters and, as you might expect, Mitt and Newt top the list. I feel that Brad may be slightly underrating Rick Santorum's performance in the debate, but I'll concede he has a point when he says, "Santorum is passionate, but conveys that passion with an ever-present sour expression." Phillips rates Huntsman below Perry, because the former Utah governor "too often resembled the awkward uncle who elicits sympathy laughs at family events," but notes that his "last debate performance was by far his strongest, and that makes him the most improved debater in the field." I think that's spot-on. [Mr. Media Training]
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