“Pizzazz” Trumps Record?

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After receiving an “A” from the Cato institute in 2010 for his record as governor of Minnesota, you might think that members of the libertarian think tank would be excited by the prospect that Tim Pawlenty, who outperformed Mitch Daniels and Haley Barbour in that basic policy test last year, remains in the running for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination. Not so much:

Yes, everyone’s heard he’s milquetoast. Yes, there’s a predictably barren ExcitingThingsAboutTimPawlenty.com. But come on, “he doesn’t have much pizzazz”? That can’t possibly be disqualifying for a guy who apparently runs a state government exactly as Cato would like.

That being said, federal government is a different beast, as the questions on U.S. military bases, the Ryan budget and, yes, legalizing marijuana fielded by Pawlenty today at a Cato Q&A surely show.