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May 17, 2005
A Guest Of The Governor

Good news for CQ readers -- I just got at least a three-month lease on blogging from the First Mate, and I'll explain why.

About ten days ago, I received an invitation from Governor Tim Pawlenty's office to meet the Governor. After calling to confirm that the invitation was on the level (you never know with some of my friends), I found out that a representative group of Minnesota bloggers had been invited to the Governor's mansion for a reception intended to honor new media in Minnesota. All of my Northern Alliance colleagues had been invited, as well as some of the MOB bloggers that we know so well -- Doug at Bogus Gold, Patriot Blog, First Ring, Kennedy vs The Machine, and others I know I'm forgetting.

The Minnesota Governor's mansion is unusual in that it sits in the middle of a residential neighborhood -- a rather ritzy and historical district, but still more or less an upscale set of unique fin de siecle homes that still functions as a neighborhood. The only visual clue that this house fulfills a different function is the state trooper that guards the entry at the front of the lawn. When we walked up and identified ourselves, the First Mate and I were immediately shown inside, where most of the people had already arrived even though we were a few minutes early. (The drinks were free, so naturally the bloggers got there promptly.)

Marcia and I mingled with the NARN and spouses/girlfriends as well as the other bloggers and staffers from the Governor's office, who kept us entertained until Governor Tim Pawlenty arrived a few minutes after us. The most striking aspect of Governor Pawlenty is his youth and fitness. He seemed very much in his element in this neighborhood, as much as he does in his primary residence in Eagan, where Marcia and I also live. He spoke for a few minutes to welcome us and put us at ease, and then gave us a twenty-minute tour of the mansion himself.

I had an opportunity to speak briefly with the Governor before the end of the event, which was necessarily brief due to his busy schedule this week; it actually lasted almost twice as long as his staff allocated. He asked me about developments in the Canadian scandal, and John Hinderaker talked to him about GOP politics and the race in 2008. John and I both want to see Governor Pawlenty consider a run for the ticket, which may be not just viable if he wins re-election here in 2006, but may be more probable than some will think. He has a natural gift for winning the center, a skill which allowed him to turn Minnesota red in 2002 and later on give him formidable approval ratings.

If you like to handicap Presidential primary candidates, I'd suggest including Tim Pawlenty in your calculations. Nothing he said to John and I excluded him from tossing his hat in the ring.

The Governor was kind enough to spend a couple of minutes with each of us for pictures and a chat. (The above photo was taken by Chad "The Elder" Doughty from Fraters Libertas.) I've invited him to join us on the Northern Alliance Radio show, any Saturday he likes, and we'll follow up with his office to schedule something soon.

I joked earlier about the First Mate allowing me to continue blogging because of the invitation to the Governor's mansion for those of us in the new media. However, this shows that people in power have noticed the effect that we have on debate, and have started to take us seriously. A few months ago, the notion that Governors and Senators would concern themselves with the pajamaheddin seemed fanciful and somewhat self-congratulatory. Now it seems almost an inevitability, and in Minnesota, a reality. If our Governor decides to give national politics a whirl in 2008, his respect for the new media might mean access to the White House and the corridors of power for the new media as well.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at May 17, 2005 8:38 PM

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