Pawlenty's ultimatum reshaped session-ending negotiations. It may also mean that he will have taken almost sole ownership of budget cuts that cities say will force them to pull cops off the streets and hospitals say will force them to cut vital programs and thousands of jobs.Of course, TPaw has no interest or desire to seek a third term. It is way to politically risky to his future national aspirations. That's why he is rolling the stubborn 'who cares about the little guy' dice. His only constituency at this point is the far Right base that will be integral in selecting the MNGOP sacrificial lamb ticket of 2012. Why anyone would stand in line for that slaughter confuses me. But that is what it will be.
The move comes amid continuing speculation about Pawlenty's political plans, whether he is running for reelection in 2010 or setting himself up for a bid for national office. In part, Pawlenty is betting on a vigorous economic recovery to boost state revenues and reduce the kinds of cuts he might have to make. But given the potential pain that could be felt by a broad range of Minnesotans, the go-it-alone strategy that delights anti-tax conservatives could carry risks for someone intending to seek a third term.
However, in his selfishness, the Governor is not considering what his actions will do to the future of the MNGOP caucus:
Depending on the impact of Pawlenty's decision, some see moderate county commissioners overseeing local hospitals or city council members hit by local government aid cuts deciding that the Capitol is the problem, labeling themselves as reform-minded DFLers and running for the Legislature in many swing districts.Next cycle it won't matter if the Governor is from the Right, the veto pen will be made moot thanks to the actions of the current office holder.
When Rep. Kim Norton was contemplating running for the state House, she actually was conflicted about whether she would seek the Republican or DFL endorsement. A moderate who grew up in a fiscally conservative family, she eventually decided to run as a DFLer in her Rochester district. She sees many moderate Republican colleagues struggling with their votes at home and their loyalty to Pawlenty.