The evolution of Tim Pawlenty

It has been fascinating, in a “I’m stuck in a car with this guy” way to watch the evolution of the outward political beliefs of Tim Pawlenty, our Minnesota Governor.
Once upon a time, he cast himself as a Republican moderate, a Republican anyone in Minnesota could and did vote for.
Now, as his political ambitions turn toward 1600 Pennyslvania avenue, that has changed.
First, was his unilateral “unallotment” method of budget balancing by simply underfunding or not funding hundreds of programs in Minnesota
Second, there was his flirtation with tenthers,
Now, he is walking back his previous moderate stand on climate change.
In 2007, he used his time as chair of the National Governor’s Association to suggest ways to improve, develop and advance clean energy. The effort was meant to reduce the nation’s dependence on foreign oil, but Pawlenty also didn’t deny that it was an attempt to clean up the environment.
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Pawlenty was a vocal advocate of creating a cap and trade system to curb greenhouse gas emissions. In 2008, he and Janet Napolitano, then Arizona’s Democratic Governor, recorded a radio ad urging Congress to address climate change.
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Pawlenty has changed. Now, he uses climate change as a punch line.
In June, Pawlenty wrote a letter to Minnesota’s Congressional delegation criticizing proposed cap and trade legislation in the U.S. House. He also came out against the Midwest Governor’s Climate Change initiative — an effort he helped launch.

I don’t know what is in Pawlenty’s heart, if he’s changed his views or not. But its clear his political ambitions have caused him to evolve into a far more right-leaning candidate for higher office.