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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Dec. 17, 2009 / 30 Kislev 5770

Belt-tightening presidential aspirant leaves room for Spam

By John Kass

John Kass


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty isn't officially running for president.

But that's just semantics. Last week, he was in South America on a trade mission with state business leaders. And before the end of the year, he's expected to make speeches in New Hampshire.

No Minnesotan goes to New Hampshire for a winter vacation. If Pawlenty wanted to freeze his face off, he could stay home and eat his favorite Spam sandwiches. So he's running.

Pawlenty is a conservative Republican governor of a liberal state known for excellent fishing and clean government. Minnesota couldn't get any more blue, not after Democrats elevated "Saturday Night Live" character Stuart Smalley to the U.S. Senate in the form of liberal Sen. Al Franken, the comedian who played the pastel-sweatered nerd Smalley years ago. Now Franken votes on domestic and foreign policy.

"Well, the people spoke," Pawlenty said with a shrug.

Pawlenty was in Chicago to raise funds for his political action committee, Freedom First. I wanted to meet this budget cutter who thwacked expenses, and who speaks in an economic language foreign to Washington, with ideas of cutting taxes and forcing government to live within its means.

I expected some policy wonk. What I didn't figure on was meeting a guy who grew up in a union family, the son of a truck driver, with a sense of humor and vast knowledge of Spam.

"In South St. Paul, where I grew up, it was a meatpacking town in the 1960s, and I think this may resonate with the people of Illinois," he said during an interview at the Hilton. "It was home to some of the world's largest meatpacking plants, the Swift and Armour plants, and we claimed, at least for a moment in time, the world's biggest stockyards."

I was compelled to mention Spam, the processed cube of canned mystery meat that, along with walleye and the Minnesota Twins, is one of the pillars of Minnesota culture.

Governor, I said, your state is the leading producer of Spam. Are you proud of this?

"Proud of it? We built a museum. An ode to it," Pawlenty said. "What are you talking about? I love Spam. We have Spam kebabs. We now have lower-fat Spam, you can get turkey Spam and lower-sodium Spam. This is your wonder meat in a can."

Pawlenty insisted that I grill some Spam and write a series about the experience.

"You should do Spam kebabs," he said. "Or, if you want to get a very good sandwich, get some nice, fresh sourdough, butter it up good and pan-fry it so it's browned with the butter. Don't overdo it. Then grill a nice thick slab of Spam, and put a chunk of cheddar — not the low-fat cheddar but the full fatty cheddar — and you have a Spam sandwich. You might want to top it off with a nice little squeeze of Parkay."

Parkay?

"You can go with it either as a flavor additive or a lubricant," Pawlenty said. "Either way, it's good."

Sounds tasty.

Jokes aside, Pawlenty is deadly serious about this phase of his unofficial campaign, which is to tap into legitimate American worries about uncontrolled federal spending and debt. Clearly there are other leading personalities in the mix, from Mitt Romney (too much the mannequin in the last presidential campaign cycle) and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (charisma, but perhaps too much the lightning rod).

Pawlenty, like another unannounced presidential aspirant, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, is trying to break into the Republican alpha group by concentrating on fiscal issues.

"He talks to his constituents about running the state in tough economic times as they run their households," said Morgan Stanley Vice Chairman Bill Strong, a Chicagoan who, with former Minnesota congressman Vin Weber, chairs the Pawlenty PAC. "He talks about belt tightening and cutting expenditures, as all Americans have been doing in their own homes. And this resonates."

Whether it does or not will be measured by polls and politics in the months ahead.

"I don't think that the Congress even seriously tries to balance the budget anymore," Pawlenty said. "Politicians get rewarded for saying 'yes,' not for saying 'no.' The pattern of spending out there is troubling, and you see it in the polling data. The public is saying that what's going on in Washington is way more than they bargained for. That pendulum is swinging back, away from profligate spending to the idea that we have to rein it in."

In Minnesota, Pawlenty outfoxed the ever-spending Democratic state legislature by relying on a little-used provision in state law called "unallotment." Under this provision, Pawlenty was able to remove state programs that weren't accompanied by the money to pay for it. He took his budget ax and chopped and chopped.

"In Minnesota, I'd guess you'd say I'm unusual," he said. "Even the Republicans are liberal there. But I'm the first mainstream conservative who's been governor of Minnesota in a long time."

And now he's taking other steps, from Chicago to New Hampshire, with his eyes on Washington.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

John Kass is a columnist for the Chicago Tribune. Comments by clicking here.



Previously:



09/27/09: ACORN can teach the GOP a thing or 2
09/03/09: Blago as author gets it wrong yet again 06/22/09: Obama's latest political play should shock no one
06/17/09: Presidential satire takes Hopium break
06/11/09: E-Verify works, so, of course, let's not use it
06/09/09: First Lady Macbeth's the man, so in your face, Eminem
06/02/09: Judge Sotomayor would think me most unwise
05/12/09: Parents, enjoy this time, in all its creepiness
03/18/09: Stem cell policy shift brings a sinking feeling
03/09/09: Name That Blago Book contest names its winner
03/05/09: Contest: Name Blagojevich's book
02/16/09: Dems undercut aid for U.S. workers
01/20/09: Let the carving begin on Tombstone's tomb
01/12/09: Obama serves Reid taste of Chicago Way
01/02/09: Jesters don't pick up the race card in a nationally televised news conference and slam it into the face of every Dem in the Senate, a palm heel strike to the tip of the nose, leaving all of them watery-eyed, their lips stinging
12/24/08: Governor waxes poetic, but Combine rolls on
12/23/08: Got corruption? Get Jesse Junior G-Man
12/18/08: Will ‘feditis’ spread to Obama and Daley?
12/15/08: Man behind curtain is wizard of Rod, Rahm

© 2008, Chicago Tribune. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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