Introducing Colonel Pawlenty, a fine Southern gentleman

'I'll just die if I don't get the nomination'

Is it possible to be a bigger phony than Mitt Romney? Tim Pawlenty says “Yes I can.”

On a trip to Iowa last week, former Gov. Tim Pawlenty attracted attention not for his policy positions, but for the way he was speaking. Many people thought they heard him using a southern accent.

Back in Pawlenty’s home state of Minnesota, an MPR News listener said when he heard a report on the Pawlenty speech on the radio, he couldn’t believe who it was.

“I didn’t understand where the accent came from,” said Mike Supina, a St. Paul architect. “He sounded like he was from Arkansas.” …

“He didn’t even talk like that when he was governor,” Lois Simon said, adding that he sounded like George Bush.

Pawlenty’s explanation was even less convincing than his Southern accent.

“Anybody who actually follows me closely or has looked at these speeches over the years knows that from time-to-time I do that, and it wasn’t some sort of strategic decision for that group,” Pawlenty said. “I’ve done it in Minnesota. I’ve done it in other places.”

Who doesn’t?

Before finding his inner Jonny Reb, Pawlenty was solidifying his backwards bona fides by declaring he’d reinstate “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

Pawlenty just confirms what we already suspected: Being a reasonable governor from a blue state just won’t cut it with today’s GOP.