Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Good Publicity?

Long ago, when it was routine for an American newspaper to openly align itself with one of the political parties, The New York Times was a Republican paper. That type of blatant partisanship has fallen out of favor, but every newspaper has its particular ideological tinge. And, these days, no one would accuse the Times of being a house organ of the G.O.P.

So, what should Governor Tim Pawlenty, Republican of Minnesota, make of a largely favorable write-up in that publication?

Should he follow the usual Hollywood line that all publicity is good publicity? I don't think that applies to political life, in the same way it applies to other branches of show business. But, perhaps, all good publicity is good publicity, regardless of who publishes it?

Be that as it may, Adam Nagourney has outlined, in the article to which I've linked above, a plausible case that Pawlenty can make to the electorate in 2012. Nagourney mentions the fact that Pawlenty has never been based in Washington, and therefore might have an advantage in offering a new alternative to the partisan national debates of the past few years.

Actually, Pawlenty wanted a Washington job a few years ago, but maneuvering by the Bush White House derailed that ambition. Pawlenty, who was then the majority leader of the lower house of the Minnesota Legislature, wanted to run against U.S. Senator Paul Wellstone in 2002. But Bush and his political staff talked him into instead running for governor, and leaving the Senate race to Norm Coleman. Pawlenty and Coleman won their respective elections, that year.

Many of us in the Republican Party believe that, while some of the spending increases by the Bush and Obama administrations have been necessitated by war and recession, the expansion of the federal government has been excessive. If Pawlenty can make an outsider's case for that point of view, he might find a receptive electorate.

If, that is, Republicans can forgive him for being favorably mentioned in That Newspaper.

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