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Introducing Tim Pawlenty

Virtually every pundit describes Tim Pawlenty as one of the few serious candidates for the GOP presidential nomination. Yet, as he points out in the video clip below, his name recognition among Republicans nationwide is only around 50 percent. Of the half who at least know who he is, most haven’t really seen him perform. So, if you are one of those who know who Pawlenty is, but have only seen him in an occasional televised sound bite, this interview with Cristiane Amanpour is a very good introduction.
Be sure to watch until the topic turns to education about seven minutes in. At the moment, education is not a top-tier issue. And yet, virtually everyone recognizes that 1) education is critical to America’s long-run competitiveness, and 2) our current system of K-12 education is poor. By rights, this is an issue that Republicans should own, but because the education establishment–teachers and administrators–is Democratic out of self-interest, people don’t think of education as a reason to vote Republican. Pawlenty is the only politician I know of in either party who talks about education in a way that is both passionate and persuasive:

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