By Mike Kaszuba
Sitting beneath a framed biblical quote, and with four uniformed security officials standing watch, former Gov. Tim Pawlenty held his first book signing in Minnesota as more than a hundred people lined up Tuesday for autographs and pictures.
The former governor, wearing a dark suit, held the book signing at a religious bookstore in Woodbury, and made a quick fan of Kelly Lavers of Woodbury. “We like his policies – his stand on how to run the government,” said Lavers, who was among 118 people who waited to have Pawlenty sign his new book, “Courage to Stand.”
“I think he did a great job as governor of the state of Minnesota,” said Caleb Oberg, Maplewood, a former soldier who had Pawlenty sign a picture of Oberg – in uniform – standing alongside the former governor in Iraq. Referring to Pawlenty’s possible campaign for president, Oberg added: “He’s. . .a breath of fresh air.”
After a half hour wait Oberg, also wearing a suit, greeted the former governor. “Wow, looking sharp today,” Pawlenty said.
Pawlenty spent more than an hour signing books, and sat beneath a large framed picture containing the Bible quote “What is Impossible with Men is Possible with God – Luke 18:27”. In front of the former governor, a display case featured more Bible sayings for sale, including “Great Is They Faithfulness” and a plate inscribed with “This is the Day the Lord Hath Made.”
Pawlenty posed for picture with a large cake, decorated with a copy of the book’s cover created with frosting. His appearance at the LifeWay Christian Store was covered by several Twin Cities media outlets, and a conservative radio station broadcast live from the book signing.
As Pawlenty joined the broadcasters for an on-air interview, a book by Sarah Palin, the former Republican vice presidential candidate and a possible Pawlenty challenger in 2012, sat on a nearby bookshelf.
“I think you’ve already started to make a splash with [the book],” the radio co-host said to Pawlenty, as the governor sat beside him.
Alex Conant, an adviser to Pawlenty, said he was unsure why the store provided the former governor with security, which included two uniformed Woodbury police officers. The bookstore, located in a strip shopping mall, included a café, hardware store, chiropractor’s office and a driving school.
“It’s up to the store,” said Conant, who said the former governor did not have security last week when he was unveiling his book in New York City.
“I think it’s just standard,” said Don Albee, an assistant store manager, of the police officers.
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