Pawlenty’s Debut

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In January, outgoing Minnesota governor and proto-presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty has a (familiar-looking) book coming out, a publicity swing through first-in-the-nation Iowa and New Hampshire (as well as DC, Florida, Ohio and Texas), and above all, an opportunity.

As Richard Land recently pointed out to Newsweek, the Republican field for 2012 is weak, each potential candidate with their own problems. The RomneyCare horse has been beat near to death, Palin has a seriousness-of-purpose problem even with her base, Gingrich has more baggage than a Manhattan bellhop, Huckabee has hefty mortgage payments to worry about, and so on. Pawlenty likes to say his record speaks for itself. And he has a point: he fought for and won a conservative budget in a not-so-conservative state; he racked up some movement cred with his public skirmishes on health reform; he can talk the talk on faith and social issues; and his state supreme court picks are well-regarded on the right. His problem is that, so far, people either don’t know him or just aren’t that jazzed up about his prospects as a presidential candidate. The book tour is Pawlenty’s chance to change to that.

So where, when and what will he be peddling come the New Year? From a new excerpt of his book out today:

Have you ever opened up an expired or rotting pack of hamburger from the bottom of your refrigerator and given it a big whiff? Yeah. Multiply that times a thousand, and you’ll get the idea. You could smell that rotting meat as soon as we opened the doors of those trailers. Then, when we hopped up there, we could hear the buzzing. My dad reached in and grabbed the first hook, and I held my breath and leaned in through a swarm of flies to grab mine – and I lost it. I tossed my cookies next to one of the bins, only adding to the mess and the stench.

OK, so that’s not the whole story. Read the full thing here and check out the details of his book tour after the jump:

Thursday, 1/13 (Washington, DC)
Speak at National Press Club, Washington, DC
Book signing, Washington, DC

Friday, 1/14 (Florida)
Speak at the Hispanic Leadership Network Inaugural Conference, Miami, FL
Book signing, Tampa, FL

Tuesday, 1/18 (Minnesota)
Book signing, Woodbury, MN

Thursday, 1/20 (Texas)
Book signing, Dallas, TX

Friday, 1/21 (Texas)
Book signing, Dallas, TX
Book signing, Houston, TX

Monday, 1/24 (New Hampshire)
Merrimack County GOP Dinner, Concord, NH
Book signing, Manchester, NH

Tuesday, 1/25 (New Hampshire)
Politics & Eggs, Bedford, NH

Thursday, 1/27 (Minnesota)
Book signing, Burnsville, MN
Book signing, St. Cloud, MN

Saturday, 1/29 (Ohio)
12th Annual Hamilton County Pancake Breakfast, Cincinnati, OH

Sunday, 1/30 (Iowa)
Book signing, Ankeny, IA
Waukee Chamber of Commerce Dinner

Monday, 1/31 (Iowa)
Book signing, West Des Moines, IA