Prof. Tim Pawlenty

Weigel
Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Feb. 8 2012 2:38 PM

Prof. Tim Pawlenty

Earlier today, a University of Kansas junior named Graham Ray started tweeting about his guest lecturer: Tim Pawlenty. The former governor of Minnesota and extremely ineffective candidate-endorser dropped in to Sociology 110, American Identities to talk about... it was unclear, actually.

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

"23 minutes later and I have no idea what he's talking about," tweeted Ray. "Freedom, drugs, a kickass pool, meatpacking, MLK."

Advertisement

It sounded interesting, so I called Ray for an after-action report. The room, he said, was somewhat full and somewhat interested.

"A few hundred students are enrolled in class," he said, "but maybe a hundred show up. I figure that a lot of the people in the class are freshmen who are just taking it to take it. They probably know Romney, they know Santorum, but Pawlenty dropped out so early that they might not know him."

But what did the great man say? "Somebody asked him what he thought about Santorum's victories yesterday," remembered Gray. "He congratulated him, but he brought up the fact that John McCain lost 19 states and still won the nomination." Gray paused. "It sounded like a backhanded compliment. And he referred to Minnesota as one of the smaller states, in terms of political power."

Did he say what he'd do next?

"He joked he was going to start a margarita bar in Florida."

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

  Slate Plus
Working
Nov. 27 2014 12:31 PM Slate’s Working Podcast: Episode 11 Transcript Read what David Plotz asked a helicopter paramedic about his workday.