Pawlenty doesn’t have Barbour’s political network

Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty has little of the star power of Sarah Palin. He has not been around the presidential track in the way of Mitt Romney or Mike Huckabee. He does not have the political network of Haley Barbour. He is not a provocateur of ideas like Newt Gingrich.

None of that seems to bother him as he weighs whether to seek the 2012 Republican presidential nomination. He thinks he has something others don’t have, which is the capacity to help put a more appealing face on a party that still suffers from image problems with many voters.

Pawlenty, just back from a trip to Iraq and Afghanistan, was in Washington on Monday for a breakfast with reporters sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor. Most of the hour-long discussion centered on his views about the wars, financial regulatory reform, health care, deficits and spending and taxes, and immigration.

Washington Post