Tim Pawlenty’s official announcement making his presidential run semi-official made it on page A2 in the Washington Post Tuesday, playing second-fiddle to Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, whose presidential job prospects were the subject of a front page takeout.
The former Minnesota governor’s formation of a presidential exploratory committee is pretty pro-forma stuff, even if he is the first major Republican candidate to do it. And the Post, as well as others, obviously had been taking the measure of Barbour for a while.
But the contrasting story lines say a lot about the challenges confronting Pawlenty. Barbour, the consummate Washington insider-lobbyist, is accorded “formidable contender” status in the Post. Pawlenty gets the “little known nationally” treatment, along with this stinging quote from GOP strategist Alex Castellanos: “A lot of Republicans are concerned that he’s wet wood and won’t light.”
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Gov. Mark Dayton said it’s government’s job to help people in urgent need who are in their predicament through no fault of their own, so back to session we go to give 100 tourism related businesses loans, tax abatements and more advertising to help shore them up in the walleye crisis.