Pawlenty has good credentials on all three traditional pillars of the conservative coalition: foreign policy, social policy and fiscal policy. He has executive experience as Governor of a mid-West battleground state, he has made no mistakes and, although his name recognition currently is low, he could rectify that in a hurry by winning Iowa. And he has great appeal to Evangelical voters who just happen to be dominant in Iowa. He attends Leith Anderson's church and his wife is a strong Evangelical Christian.
On top of everything else, he quite likely has the strongest actual record of achievement as a pro-life politician. Steve Ertelt at The Corner summarizes his record:
During his first year as governor in 2003, Pawlenty signed into law the Woman’s Right to Know Act, giving women information about abortion risks and alternatives as well as information on fetal development. The law became a model for other states. Minnesota was also the first to give women information on fetal pain — coming well in advance of the new trend of banning abortions based on that scientific concept, which Nebraska started last year. The former governor followed up that bill by signing the Unborn Child Pain Prevention Act in 2005 to give women even more information on the pain their babies feel during an abortion.
Pawlenty didn’t stop there. In 2005 he signed the Positive Alternatives to Abortion Act to make Minnesota one of just a handful of states that send public funds to pregnancy centers providing tangible support for pregnant women and abortion alternatives. Since then, it has helped more than 18,000 pregnant women and their families.
Again proving his commitment to women and his understanding of the myriad medical and mental-health problems women face following an abortion, Governor Pawlenty issued a proclamation in 2010 designating the month of April as “Abortion Recovery Month” and urging agencies in the state to help women who are suffering problems following their abortions. Recognizing the massive national post-abortion movement, which features millions of women who regret their abortions, Pawlenty again led the way by acknowledging this post-abortion pain in a way most other states have not.
Governor Pawlenty’s pro-life record includes everything from promoting perinatal hospices as alternatives to abortion in cases when a baby is diagnosed with a severe medical condition, to declaring pro-life days recognizing the tragedy of Roe v. Wade, to speaking at rallies and events for key pro-life groups like Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life.
But two other aspects of the pro-life debate show Pawlenty is a cut above the average pro-life elected official.
In a time when some pro-life advocates abandoned the pro-life movement on bioethics issues, Pawlenty stood fast. He vetoed a cloning bill that would have legalized human cloning and forced taxpayers to pay for the destruction of human life, saying destroying human embryos crossed “core ethical and moral boundaries.” The governor also signed into law a ban on taxpayer funding of human cloning, because he rightfully acknowledges that adult stem-cell research is not only more ethical but more effective in helping patients. A President Pawlenty would assuredly overturn Pres. Barack Obama’s executive order forcing taxpayers to fund embryonic stem-cell research that destroys human lives and has never helped a single patient.
For pro-life voters, however, the biggest issue in the upcoming presidential election is judges. The current Supreme Court has a teetering 5–4 pro-abortion majority and the next few nominations will likely determine the future of the high court on abortion for decades.
In 2008, Governor Pawlenty appointed a pro-life advocate to lead the Minnesota Supreme Court. Eric Magnuson, who was named chief justice, had written an amicus brief for a pro-life group in a case arguing that taxpayers should not be forced to fund abortions with their tax money.
Governor Pawlenty also felt so strongly about appointing Jamie Anderson to the 4th Judicial District Court that he bypassed the state’s Commission on Judicial Selection to ensure the respected pro-life attorney had a seat.
Pawlenty’s strength on judges also comes by way of his wife Mary, who is a former judge herself. Although pro-life voters appreciated the pro-life actions of presidents Ronald Reagan, George Bush, and George W. Bush, their wives did not share their pro-life perspective. Mary Pawlenty, an evangelical who attended Bethel College, is a heartfelt pro-life advocate who combines a passion for the unborn with an acute political and legal mind.
The Pawlenty pro-life track record has produced proven results: The Minnesota health department indicated last year that abortions have dropped 14 percent and hit a 35-year low.
Wow! Will this play in Iowa or what? Read it all here.
How nice would it be to see the Mexico City policy reversed and pro-life judges appointed to the Supreme Court! I have been watching Tim Pawlenty for a while now and I think he is the one to take on Obama.
I now hope that Palin and Huckabee don't run. They don't need to. Gingrich is in the race to sell books and attack Obama. Good for him; he can't win but he can help the cause. Romney can't shake his record on healthcare legislation in Massachusetts. Can Republicans really trust a man who used to be pro-abortion to appoint pro-life judges and a man who implemented the forerunner of Obamacare to repeal Obamacare? His nomination would split the party. Haley Barbour is not going to have much appeal outside the South. Governors Perry, Christie and Walker probably aren't going to run. Paul Ryan show no signs of jumping in. Michelle Bachman will run to lift up the Tea Party banner.
But the one who can unite them all without losing moderate, establishment Republicans is Tim Pawlenty. I can see Karl Rove and Sarah Palin both endorsing him. The perfect running mate would be Marco Rubio. Rubio is popular in Florida, where the election may well be decided and he is a terrific speaker, a true conservative and has a compelling life story. In many ways he is the anti-Biden and, I predict, will stir as much enthusiasm among the fiscal and social conservative base as Palin did last time.
Pawlenty and Rubio in 2012. Now that is hope and change we can believe in!