Don't Underestimate Tim Pawlenty's Chances
He may be the most underestimated Republican of the bunch
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 8, 2011 9:57 AM CST
Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty speaks in Blaine, Minn., in October.   (AP Photo/Craig Lassig, File)
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(Newser) – The name Tim Pawlenty doesn't exactly raise goosebumps on Republican voters, at least so far, but the Weekly Standard is out with a flattering profile of the outgoing Minnesota governor that depicts him as a force to be reckoned with in 2012. "He may, in fact, be the most underestimated Republican presidential candidate—one who could appeal to the Tea Party and the Republican establishment," writes John McCormack.

Pawlenty has governed his liberal state while remaining remarkably true to his principles as a social and fiscal conservative, and he's got an "up-from-the-bootstraps" history that people love. He still needs to present a "detailed national agenda," become a more exciting speaker, and probably overcome a "regular-guy demeanor" that doesn't scream president. But his rivals would be fools to take him lightly.