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Pawlenty's visit here coincides with New York Times political calculator Nate Silver's release of a
wrapped-up Tiddlywinks game graph showing the ex-gov smack in the middle of the Republican field, in terms of ideology. "I had trouble placing him in any of the four quadrants," says Silver. "As Jay Cost of The Weekly Standard points out, Mr. Pawlenty enjoys something of a reputation as a moderate even though his positions are fairly conservative: he has pledged to reinstate the military’s 'don’t ask, don’t tell' policy, for instance. Likewise, Mr. Pawlenty seems to keep Washington at arm’s length while having supporters within the Republican establishment."
True, Pawlenty is no Michele Bachmann. But the positions he took during his speech to the folks at the City Club of Chicago nevertheless sound pretty conservative: vouchers instead of implementation of President Barack Obama's health care law; raising the retirement age, and partial privatization of Social Security.
In addition to selling a book, Pawlenty is also selling himself via this dramatic commercial:
Looks like somebody's been watching too many Will Smith movies.