Pawlenty signs books, talks about Raisin Bran, 2012

“Well, this morning I woke up at five to get my daughter to volleyball by seven, Jay, so the thing I felt in my belly was a bowl of Raisin Bran,” Pawlenty said, when asked the “fire in the belly” question. 

Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlety made an appearance late this afternoon at a Christian bookstore in Ankeny, Iowa, a suburb that sits on the north side of Des Moines.  Some people showed up at the store with a book in hand; staff at the store say they sold about 50 copies of his book.  (A display of Pawlenty’s books was stationed near the check out lines — on the other side of the display one could buy copies of Sarah Palin’s latest book.)

Pawlenty signed books for nearly an hour as a few television cameras and a group of still photographers captured the scene.  After the signing was done, a reporter from Minneapolis asked Pawlenty if he had the “fire in his belly” to run.

“The country’s in big trouble and we need some people who are concerned about that who are willing to rise up and be strong and be clear about how we got into this mess and help lead out of it, Pawlenty said, adding the next president has to be the kind of person who “has their compass set.”

The Minneapolis reporter followed up, asking Pawlenty how he felt “when you wake up each day, even on a tour like this, do you get excited by it?”

“Well, this morning I woke up at five to get my daughter to volleyball by seven, Jay, so the thing I felt in my belly was a bowl of Raisin Bran,” Pawlenty said. “WhenI think about these issues, the country is facing just very obvious challenges and it’s not necessarily right versus left. It’s a matter of eighth grade mathematics…and if we don’t fix it, we’re going to take the country over the financial cliff.”

Pawlenty said President Obama “just doesn’t get it” and Pawlenty dismissed the president’s budget freeze proposal as a “spit in the ocean.  It’s a joke.”

Obama’s State of the Union messages was “a swing and a miss,” according to Pawlenty.  “He is, I think, taking the country in a misguided direction and he is not addressing the real issues,” Pawlenty said.

Pawlenty advocates changes in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.  “Reasonable things we can do” include smaller cost-of-living adjustments for the “wealthy” compared to middle and lower income Americans; raising the retirement age for new entrants. 

“The president, unfortunately, had a golden opportunity the other night with the State of the Union and he didn’t even significantly address the government spending crisis in this country and that it was a huge disappointment and it makes me very upset,” Pawlenty said, “and that’s one of the things that motivates me for 2012.”

At this hour (6:15 p.m.) Pawlenty is in the ballroom of the West Des Moines Marriott. In about half an hour he’s scheduled to address the more than 200 Waukee Chamber of Commerce folks who are in the room.

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.


  1. I don t think Pawlenty gets it…. maybe this kind of rampant poverty is normal or Republicans who have gotten us into this financial mess with stupid wars and the taking the the teath out of regulation – No one has been prosecuted for having impoverished so many people in such a short time. – we don t have half the things that Europeans take for granted -a health care system – good education – broadband – high speed trains – a great road network – I think Obama struck the right chord – he hit the alarm button. We are in steep decline versus other countries. It is quite apparent from relaxing educational norms so no one fails a grade – to the size of the waistline explosion – Pawlenty obviously didn t listen and indication of how he and his ilk killed common sense. typical right winged attitude – to see what one wants to see to further one’s political agenda rather than understand the consequences – God help America!


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