"...but the single most fascinating thing about the guy is his total inability to gain traction. Earlier this year the conventional wisdom had Pawlenty as the most serious threat to Mitt Romney. The very most serious. Remember that Pawlenty was the very first candidate into the primary race, and although his name recognition has roughly doubled, his ranking in preference among likely Republican voters has gone down, hovering between three and four percent. Which means, that he now also trails Rick Perry, Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, and Ron Paul. He is, however, ahead of Rick Santorum and Thaddeus McCotter, although in all fairness, McCotter only announced a week ago. Governor Pawlenty, welcome back to the show."
"Thank you, Rachel, it's great to be back. I might note that this is my fourth appearance on the Rachel Maddow Show."
"So noted, although it would seem it hasn't really helped you."
"I know. I get the impression that there aren't a whole lot of conservatives that watch your show."
"There are, but not for the reasons you might think."
"That's probably true. I do a lot of the liberal shows, though - you, Chris Mathews, Lawrence O'Donnell. It just seems like you guys take me more seriously."
"Governor Pawlenty, do you know why we like featuring you?"
"I believe I do, Rachel. The liberal media always like to adopt one Republican in the race to be nice to. That used to be John McCain, and now I guess the mantle has been passed to me."
"That's essentially true."
"Although it does seem lately as though the liberal media has been ignoring me a bit in favor of Jon Huntsman. I guess that's what I'd attribute my shrinking support to."
"Your decreased coverage in the progressive media. I don't believer that's quite accurate. I would theorize that it might have to do with your surprising lack of focus and follow-through."
"That's not true, Rachel. I focus like a laser on whatever it is that I'm focusing on."
"Which right now is Minnesota's government shutdown."
"Right. I see that as a microcosm of everything that's going on in the American economy. And of course, Minnesota is an area of expertise for me, so it's important that I show support for the Republican senate's leadership from the sidelines."
"And this support is demonstrated by ripping the bipartisan panel which is trying to solve the crisis."
"Absolutely. As you know, they're trying to solve the crisis by ending the shutdown. And you've got that old bastard Walter Mondale trying to blame me for some of the state's problems, when everyone knows I was a pretty darn good governor. That panel is the political equivalent of Jurassic Park, with Walter Mondale playing the part of the stegosaurus."
"Why the war of words with a respected political figure like Mondale?"
"Walter Mondale? Oh, it's nothing personal. I just figure that since he's a former presidential nominee, it's good practice for my coming match up with Barack Obama."
"I don't feel as though most people are all that interested."
"You're not interested in Walter Mondale? Boy, you liberals don't have any loyalty to your fallen warriors. I wondered why the media wasn't attacking my for badmouthing the guy, but at least I know that everyone is enthralled by the volatile political situation in Minnesota."
"Governor, I want to stress this - the workings of the Minnesota bipartisan commission is not a highly significant issue to the man in the street."
"It is if you're a man on the street in Minneapolis."
"Which most of us are not."
"Well, Rachel, in spite of what you say, it think it's rather clear that Minnesota has been the constant focus of American eyeballs over the past couple of weeks."
"No, it hasn't. That would be Casey Anthony."
"What? People are still paying attention to that Florida witch? Excuse me, Rachel, I should say 'presumed witch' because I'm sure the jury is going to be deliberating for a long, long time."
"They reached a verdict nearly a week ago."
"Wow. It sure didn't take them long to find her guilty, did it?"
"Governor, I wonder if..."
"Excuse me, Rachel, but I think one of those hot pretzel trucks just pulled up behind me."
"Unemployment has just ticked up again, and the economy seems to have run out..."
"It did! It did! A Sam's Hot Pretzel's truck! I'm sorry, Rachel, but you know how hard it is to eat properly on the campaign trail, and I've always been the sort of politician who seizes my opportunities. Thank you and good night."
"Have one for me... Good night... He's gone."
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