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Former Governor Tim Pawlenty on Courage To Stand

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HH: Pleased to welcome back now Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty. Governor, good to have you back. How are you enjoying retirement?

TP: Hugh, it’s great, but you’ve known that for years, haven’t you?

HH: (laughing) You know, I have a complaint. I loved Courage To Stand, your new book. But I actually had to buy it.

TP: Well, that’s inexcusable. I mean, we should have definitely given you a free copy, and you deserve no less.

HH: You know, I’m sitting here looking at it, and I’ve got the actual price tag right here. I want you to sign this at some point, because I’ve never bought a political book before.

TP: Wow. Well, I’m honored that you did. I apologize for that. You certainly deserved a free copy, and I’ll be glad to sign it.

HH: I must also say that imagine my surprise when I make it through the entire book, and there isn’t even a passing reference to my role as Commissioner of Hockey, or as Minnesota Master of the Horse.

TP: Well, those are things that we’re not necessarily proud of.

HH: (laughing) Governor, I have interviewed you dozens of times, and I’ve been with you in Atlanta, San Diego, I’ve been with you in the green room at This Week with George Stephanopoulos. And still, this book is a revelation on a lot of levels. And so congratulations on writing a surprising book. Every book has a memorable anecdote, and a memorable person. I want to start with the memorable anecdote, the ‘we have to do this’ anecdote, at Pages 44 and 45 when you’re with your dad cleaning out that truck. Tell people about that.

TP: Yeah, well, I grew up in a meatpacking town, and my dad, for a lot of his life, was a truck driver, although later on, we thought we had hit the jackpot when he became a dispatcher. But we didn’t have a lot of money, and so he took some side jobs now and again. And one of them was a weekend where we went out and untangled meat hooks. Now these are the hooks that sides of beef would be hung on as they slid down an overhead rail system to the cutting tables of these huge meatpacking and slaughterhouses, which were the cornerstone, economically, of my hometown. And they get thrown in a bin afterwards, and my dad and I were hired to go on to untangle them. But they sat out in 90 degree heat, so they had beef sinew and fat on them, and they’d sit out and rot, basically. And you had to stick your head in these big bins, go in there, untangle the hooks, and then hang them up so they could go through a power washer. But you could imagine if you’ve got beef sinew sitting in 90 degree or 100 degree summer head, un-air conditioned, you get flies, you get meat rotting, and we went in and it was ugly. And at one point, I tossed my cookies, and I looked up at my dad, and he just said you know, we’ve just got to do this. And we powered through it, but it was a good lesson in life. It wasn’t fun that afternoon, but it kind of summarizes there’s tough stuff that we’ve got to do that the nation may be facing, you may be facing in your personal life. But you’ve just got to put your head down, and you’ve got to plow ahead. And sometimes, you’ve just got to do it. And that was one of those cases.

HH: Yeah, you write, “It’s impossible to count how many times I have applied that lesson, we have to do this, in my life, and especially in the political arena where the tangled mess often seems insurmountable. When a job needs doing, get it done. Plow through, never give up. Keep moving forward. When it’s right, when it’s necessary, just do it.” I’m wondering, do you think the country has that kind of ability, vis-à-vis this debt, Tim Pawlenty?

TP: Well, I think mathematically, Hugh, it’s going to have to. And it starts, though, with leadership. You know, leaders not only have the opportunity and the responsibility to diagnose the problem and to call out the problem, but we’ve also got to show a way forward. And you’ve got to do that in a way that doesn’t just freak people out. There are reasonable ways to solve this, Hugh. It’s common sense to say we can’t spend more than we’re taking in. People know we’ve got a problem in entitlements, for example. I think there are reasonable ways you can have to fix that. I’d be happy to walk you through it if you want. But that’s the issue of fortitude, not just for the population, but for the leaders, that’s really important. And I think for 2012, whether I run or others do, one of the questions should be this. Many candidates are going to be saying many of the same things about pro-growth economic policies and health care and taxes, and education reform and terrorism and the like. I think a really important question underneath that is does this person not just flap their jaw or offer failed amendments, but do they have the fortitude, based on their personal life experience, their value system, their belief system and their record to demonstrate they can put their head down, take the hits, and keep moving forward, because the next president is going to have to have that in a measure that I think is going to be historic.

HH: Now I’ll come back to the particular policy. I want to do biography first, because that’s where Courage To Stand is so very interesting. And I said there’s a memorable person that I didn’t know well, and it’s Judge Mary Pawlenty, your wonderful wife. I’ve only met her once, and she’s throughout this book, a graduate of Bethel College, the U. of Minnesota Law School. She gets you through the first year of law school, which I may have to take up, you know, challenge her on that someday, floating you through that. And you describe her as a Talladega Nights wife. I like that part as well. She is really quite remarkable. What’s she think about a presidential run, Tim Pawlenty?

TP: Well, Talladega Nights now, for people who are Ricky Bobby fans, or Will Farrell fans, when he says the prayer at the family dinner table, towards the beginning of the movie, he thanks the Lord for Taco Bell and various other things that he thinks are blessings in his life. And then he says I want to thank you for my red hot, smokin’ wife. So I’ve used that line in speeches, and she is red hot and smokin’, and I love her very much. But you know, she met you, Hugh…

HH: Oh yeah, in Atlanta.

TP: And she always refers to you as distinguished. And I said well, you’ve got to get to know him before you can put a label on him like that.

HH: You know, I don’t think you ever told her that you had extended an invitation for me to stay at the governor’s mansion and then withdrew it. I don’t think she was complicit in that bit of discourtesy towards…

TP: Oh, yeah she was.

HH: (laughing) You call her my own…

TP: (laughing)

HH: …you’re my own Adrian when it came time to run for governor.

TP: She’s awesome. I say this in the book as well, but you know, I wasn’t necessarily going to run for governor. In fact, I came home and decided I wasn’t going to do it. I’d been majority leader, and said honey, you know, it’s time to move on, and we’ve done what we can here, and let’s go to the next chapter in our life. And she gave me this great pep talk about what we believe is going to get washed away, there’s nobody else who can do it, you’ve got to get in there and fight, even though it looked like Ventura may run again. But what happened is I won, and then we got into a little argument about my schedule after I became governor, big deficit, inauguration, state of the state, all that. I wasn’t home as much as I should have been, and we were having this disagreement. And I said well honey, don’t you remember, though? I mean, you told me to run, you told me to do this? She looked at me and she said yeah, but I never thought you’ve actually win. She said I just wanted you to get it out of your system.

HH: Now she is a judge, and so she can’t do the overt partisan stuff. But she can talk to you about this presidential run. What’s her thought? It’s a very different, it’s a very different undertaking than a governorship run. It’s so much more arduous.

TP: Well, she was a judge, Hugh, for twelve or thirteen years. And she resigned…

HH: Oh, I didn’t know that.

TP: …because she was frustrated with being frozen out of politics under the judicial rules of Minnesota at the time. You couldn’t be involved in partisan politics, even if it was your husband’s campaign or effort. So one of the reasons she resigned is to be more involved politically. She’s a conservative person. I think you’d love her and like her like I do. But she’s very much concerned about the future direction of the country. And if I do run, she’d be 100% supportive.

HH: There’s also a discussion in here of a very famous incident in Minnesota politics. I remember it well, because you were running against Brian Sullivan for the governorship, and the convention that would never end. You had to go in there and compete. And in there, on Page 119, you talk about fight it to the end. I wonder, would you bring that same approach to presidential primaries if you get into them?

TP: Yeah, you know, that convention was, I think, one of the longest, if not the longest, in the state’s history. It went until three or four in the morning. And at various points, people were saying you know, just give up, or let’s just go to a primary, forget the convention, or one of you or the other needs to drop out. And we just kept plowing ahead, and it was a long, difficult battle, but we pulled it out. And you know, you don’t want to be disconnected from reality about when the handwriting’s on the wall for you, but I think again, it’s really important that we have leaders who have the fortitude and the strength to keep plowing ahead under difficult circumstances. And I certainly would bring that to a campaign.

HH: Does that means that even if the first couple of contests didn’t go your way, that you would stay in there until the decision was in on who was going to be the nominee?

TP: Well, you know, you don’t know how this will all unfold. But for me, Hugh, being still relatively unknown and being next to Iowa, and being in a state that I think could connect well in New Hampshire, I think it would be important for somebody like me to do reasonably well in Iowa and New Hampshire. I don’t think you can do poorly in those two states and then expect to continue on very long after that. So I’ve got to do reasonably well in one of those two states if I run.

HH: Do you have to win one of those two states?

TP: Well, I don’t know if you need to necessarily win it, but I think you do, you need you, I would need to do very well in both Iowa and/or New Hampshire. But traditionally, you’d have to win one or the other, or both.

HH: Now on Page…one of things that’s remarkable about Courage to Stand, and I really, I’m not just shining you on, this is really a very good book. And I’ve read a lot of political books. And most of the time, they don’t tell you about the individual. They tell you about policy proposals, et cetera. And I like Courage To Stand, because it’s about you. And you discuss your faith at great length, repeatedly through the book. How hard was that?

TP: It’s not hard at all. You know, this book is published by Tyndale, which is a great Christian publishing group, and has done a lot of great work, by the way. They donate all their profits to mission work and charities, so they don’t, they exist only for purposes of having a foundation and to fund that great work. But it wasn’t hard for me at all. It’s a huge part of who I am, and when people want to know who is this person, what does he or she believe, and what’s that based on, why do they believe that? A big part of that for me is my faith. And of course, if you want to be authentic, and you want to be transparent, and you want to get people to be able to see who you are and what you are and why you believe the way you do, that has to be put out there. So I put it in the book, and was proud to do it.

HH: I quote from Page 87. “I try my best,” you write, “to be a faithful follower of Christ. I believe in Jesus Christ as my Lord and personal savior. I acknowledge and worship Him regularly through prayer, by reading Scripture and by attending worship services. I also try, however imperfectly, to apply His teachings to my life, and when appropriate, to share them with others.” Is that a lightning rod kind of statement in the secular world in which we live today, Tim Pawlenty?

TP: Well, I think the world wants transparency and authenticity, and people being real. And that’s a big part of who I am. And I don’t think it’s at all a lightning rod statement, Hugh, for this reason. As you know, this country was founded on faith principles. It was founded under God. That wasn’t just the political rhetoric of the time. It’s embedded in the founding documents of this country. 49 of the 50 states have language like the Minnesota Constitution that starts out, “We the people of Minnesota, grateful to God for our civil and religious liberties.” It doesn’t say grateful to our bureaucrat or grateful to our member of Congress. So I think it’s entirely appropriate to stop, acknowledge God, and to make sure that we remember that our country was founded under God. And there’s nothing wrong or political incorrect with that statement.

HH: Now it’s interesting as well, despite the fact that you move to, not despite, you move to an Evangelical worship style with Leith Anderson, and you describe that process from your Roman Catholic roots. But every election day, you’re back in the Roman Catholic Church for a visit. Why that?

TP: (laughing) Well you know, our current church is Wooddale. It’s an inter-denominational, but Biblically-based Christian Evangelical church. And Mary and I had to reconcile our faith lives. But I go back to my hometown, of course, it’s not very far from where I live, and so I stop there to pray. And a number of times, it’s where the Church has just been empty where I go in and pray. So it’s a quiet place to pray, and it was part of my upbringing and tradition, and certainly enjoy that. Of course, I pray at all kinds of places as well. But I enjoyed my Catholic tradition when Mary and I got to the point where we were going to get married. We had to reconcile our faith lives. And so now we go to a place, like I said, an inter-denominational Evangelical church where people from different Christian faith backgrounds come together and worship. And it’s a Biblically-based church. It works well for both of us.

HH: You’ve got the most beautiful cathedral in North America, I believe, in St. Paul.

TP: Well, thank you.

HH: I just think it is. I go to it whenever I’m in town. Do you counsel much with the bishop or the archbishop of the Twin Cities? Has he been a figure in how you’ve consulted on what goes on in the public policy of Minnesota?

TP: Well, we have a relatively new bishop. His name is Archbishop Nienstedt, and he’s a bit more conservative than the one that preceded him. Both were fine gentlemen, but the one who preceded him was, you know, engaging me as it relates to budget matters. And of course, you don’t want to be on the wrong side of the archbishop. But he didn’t like some of my budget cuts, and so we had a little bit of a public back and forth with the previous archbishop. But the current archbishop, particularly on social matters, has been a voice of encouragement, and I don’t want to say political support, but certainly shares my views on the social conservative issues.

HH: You also have a story in here about Lafayette. And it’s a story of Christian witness. Is he still alive?

TP: You know, I haven’t seen him for years, but the story is about a wonderful gentleman who worked underground in an underground parking ramp, and was about the most joyful, diligent person you could imagine. And for years, I saw him in this dingy underground garage. And he never really shared his faith, or evangelize, but at one point, some years into it, I said in the elevator, Lafayette, why are you so joyful? Why are you so happy? And of course, that opened the door for him to share the source of his joy, which is his belief in Jesus Christ, and his Christian faith. And I thought it was just a great way to role model the notion that the best sermon sometimes, or messages in faith, aren’t just preached, they’re lived. And he walked the walk.

HH: Now a couple of things I didn’t know about Tim Pawlenty. You began your political life with a run, successful run, for the city council. Now I think it’s insane to want to be on a city council. I think they’re the most thankless jobs in America, people call you up in the middle of the night. But then you go pretty quickly to your race for the assembly. How were you as a city councilman?

TP: You know, I loved being on the city council, Hugh, for this reason. It’s democracy, really, in action at the grassroots level. There’s five people on the council. And if you do something that people don’t like, they’re not trying to find you through an email in Washington, D.C. They show up in your meeting room, or they’ll come and knock right on your door. So first of all, respected and appreciate that grassroots politics. And number two, there are only five people on the council. So if you could convince two other people you had a good idea, you could get something done. But it was a great experience, and the guy who became mayor was a friend, and he needed some allies in what he was trying to get done, so he really talked me into doing it. I was at that point not really something I wanted to do.

HH: You know, a lot of people made fun of Sarah Palin. You’re very respectful of Sarah Palin in this book, very interesting chapter on that after she was selected for vice president, after you went through the whole vetting part. And that’s at the end of the book with A. B. Culvahouse. But one of the things she was mocked for was for her service on the Wasilla City Council. And I think maybe if you’ve served on a city council, you have a lot more appreciation for what that actually entails.

TP: Yeah, it’s not glamorous work, obviously. And in my case, it was a couple of meeting a month, and I think we got paid a few hundred bucks a month, or something like that. So it truly is grassroots service. And we shouldn’t mock people who are on school boards, or county commissions, or city councils, because we need good people to step forward and do that. And it’s not because of the money or the glamour, it’s because it is, it matters a lot as to how your city, your county, your school is going to function. And if we discount it or disregard it, or disrespect it, then it just sends the message to good people, you know, it doesn’t have value, and it’s not important. And I think public service, if done correctly, is a noble calling. And it’s not for everybody, but we need good people in all these positions. So let’s honor it, and let’s respect it as long as the people in the office are honorable and deserve our respect.

HH: Now Tim Pawlenty, in Courage To Stand, you also have a few stories from campaign wars past. One of them has to do with your first campaign for governor. A screw-up, if we’ll call it that, on funding, on the fact that you guys sold some tape to the Republican Party, there was a controversy about it, there were a couple of ways to go. Tell people the story of what happened, and how it actually redounded to your benefit.

TP: Well, the short version is, Hugh, you know, obviously there is a law against independent expenditures, and emphasis on the word expenditures. But one of my campaign consultants sold some video footage of me to the party, and then they used that footage in some ads that they did on a basis of independent expenditures. And our local campaign board, after receiving a complaint, made an initial determination that sharing the video and selling it to the party was a violation of the independent expenditure laws, or could be. although a lot of lawyers on our side said look, the prohibition is on expenditures, not on selling them raw material or raw video. So a lot of lawyers thought we should just tell them to go fish and fight it. But it was October in the election year, the press was already weighing in heavily on the issue, so I just had a press conference and said you know, I don’t necessarily agree with the decision, but we respect it. I’m going to take responsibility for it, and it was a major blow to our campaign in terms of our finances, and the penalty we had to pay. But I think the people of Minnesota saw that and said you know, this is a stand-up person, and they actually, believe it or not, our poll numbers went up, not down after that episode.

HH: Yeah, that was remarkable. That’s what was interesting about it, is you lean into the controversy and hang a lantern on it, and it worked. One of the hardest things in the book to read about is that over the course of your eight years as governor, you attended more than 50 funerals for soldiers killed in the line of duty, 18,000 Minnesota National Guardsmen have served in the war. It’s obviously not full preparation to be commander-in-chief, but it does bring home the gravity of the most serious aspect of that job.

TP: Well, it sure does. When you go to those events, and look those moms and dads, or spouses in the eye, and see the heartbreak and the heartache that comes with the loss of one of our heroes, unless you are one of the family members, you can only imagine the pain that they’re going through. So we try to bring some comfort by being there, and to show respect by being there. But it does, in a very emotional and personal way, drive home the sacrifice that our great men and women who serve put on the line for us every day to maintain our freedoms, Hugh. And I know you know that and respect it. But when you go to that many funerals, it has an impact. And I was also blessed to have the chance to be traveling as the commander-in-chief of the National Guard visiting our troops five times in Iraq, and three times in Afghanistan and many other places around the world. And it’s not the same, of course, as being president, but it certainly gives you some exposure and insight into those issues.

HH: You also write a few episodes here I want to cover very quickly, just hint at them. At length about the decision to release the killer, Rodriguez, and you wrote about it at length. So the charge that you must have been, that you were complicit in it must have wounded a little bit, Governor Pawlenty.

TP: Yeah, it did. And of course, the decision to release him was made before I became governor as I outline in the book. But when you get accused of doing something that ends in the tragic murder of this wonderful, young person, it stings. But eventually, the facts come out and become known. But unfortunately, that situation became very politicized in Minnesota, and I know it was hurtful to the family. But eventually, we got it sorted out.

HH: Now you write in the book as well about how moved you were to attend the funeral of Ronald Reagan, the president that you were active as a young man in his campaign. You also write about the Metro Transit strike. I’m wondering, did you think of the Metro Transit strike as sort of your PATCO moment as governor?

TP: (laughing) Well, I love Ronald Reagan, and of course I know you do, too. But what a joyful, wonderful, optimistic and strong leader. I always tell people don’t confuse being nice with being weak, and Ronald Reagan’s a great example of that. But as to the transit strike, we took one of the longest transit strikes in the history of the country, 44 days, shut down the whole transit system, because our bus drivers thought they should work as little as 15 years, and then have the government pay for their health insurance for the rest of their life, or be eligible for that. And we drew a line in the sand and said that’s crazy, the taxpayers don’t get that, they don’t have anything close to that in terms of their benefits in the private sector. And we drew a line in the sand, and we shut down the system. And the people came on our side in the private sector, and we won that debate. But it was very much like the air traffic controllers episode that you reference under President Reagan.

HH: You also talk about being less than gracious when you won round one with the Democrats in the state legislature, and paying a price for that over the course of your eight years.

TP: Yeah, in my first year here in a very Democrat state, and again, I think we transformed this state in a historic way. But we won almost everything we wanted out of the state. Everything I campaigned on, we got in 2003. And it was through a weird arrangement. The Democrats agreed to pass our bills by getting all the Republicans to vote for it, and just enough Democrats to pass it, and the rest of them all voted no. So I came out of that, when the press wanted to know what’s the deal that you struck with the Democrats, I said well, they’re going to pass all our bills, and made another flippant comment. I can’t remember exactly what it was. But it came across to the Democrats as I was being disrespectful, and they were angered and hurt by that. And it took years, and some of them never got over that original arrangement and loss, and my comments associated with it. So it’s a good reminder and a good lesson that if you have the good fortune of being successful or victorious, you need to be magnanimous towards the people on the other side that you just defeated.

HH: You also talk in the book about you never raised taxes, but your opponents ding you for putting a 75 cent fee on smokes, on a pack of cigarettes. You think that distinction between fee and taxes are going to be hard to defend in the presidential primaries?

TP: Well, I don’t really make the distinction. You know, like everybody who has governed, and particularly anybody who has governed in a tough environment, I’ve got a few clunkers on my record because of compromises made. But I think I’ve got fewer and less severe clunkers than most of the rest of the field, frankly. But on the 75 cent a pack cigarette fee, whether they call it a fee or a tax, the concern remains it was more revenues to government. And we had a government shutdown, the first time in a hundred and fifty years in my state, and that was one of the compromises. I picked the least offensive thing, in terms of economic growth and impact on the economy. But I do regret that, and it’s no consolation, Hugh, but we litigated, and that was a fee or a tax for other reasons. And a court of law in Minnesota actually determined it to be a fee.

HH: Yeah, that’s in the book.

TP: Again, that doesn’t, that’s not any consolation now.

HH: Let me talk a little bit about the 35 bridge collapse, and also about George W. Bush. You obviously esteem former President Bush quite highly in this book. But he also gave you lessons in leadership which are all at Page 233, “A leader needs to show up, a leader needs to be visible.” That 35 collapse was really, it’s an amazing story and well told. Would you have done anything differently?

TP: Well, no I don’t think we would, Hugh, in this regard. It was a terrible tragedy. Thirteen people lost their lives, and many others injured. But again, a situation where people tried to politicize it, and the facts come out a year later, and the National Transportation Safety Board said the bridge fell because of an original design flaw dating back to the 1960s. And so all these folks in the meantime are kicking me all over the place saying you know, you should have done this, you should have done that. But in fact, it was a design flaw dating back from the 1960s. There was some attention paid to a possible reinforcement in the bridge that would have cost a million dollars. And the argument was well, he was being cheap with money, and therefore he wouldn’t repair the bridge when in fact the bridge expert said if you do that repair, it may destabilize the bridge further. But at least it was under review. But here’s the key thing about that. We were putting $9 million dollars into the bridge in lighting and decking, resurfacing and new guard rails and some other stuff at the time of the bridge fail. And the notion that we would spend $9 million on that, but we wouldn’t spend a million dollars on a alleged mission critical fix is just preposterous.

HH: There’s a lot about Bush as I mentioned. Do you think he’s been unfairly judged by history thus far?

TP: Yes, I think he has, and I think history is going to be viewing him much more favorably. This is somebody, obviously he didn’t do everything right. None of us do. And if anybody thinks they’re perfect, please step forward and share with us your perfection. But he had the courage of his convictions. One of the things I admire about President Bush is he was a strong leader, and he was willing to back it up, and he was willing to be unpopular to stand for what he thought was right. And again, it gets back to that earlier point I made. If you’re going to have a lot of people saying a lot of similar things for the country, but the real question is going to be do you have the courage and the fortitude to actually do it. And he did.

HH: Tim Pawlenty, are you still running?

TP: You know, you’re talking about not running for office?

HH: No, I’m talking about physically running.

TP: Well, I am, Hugh. It’s winter here in Minnesota, so it’s a little tougher with the ice and the darkness. I’m playing some hockey. Also coming off a couple of hockey injuries. But the short answer is yes, when I have time, which isn’t often.

HH: Well, I wonder, are you ever going to run a marathon again and then go to a full day of deployment ceremonies?

TP: Yeah.

HH: Because that didn’t sound so smart in the book.

TP: I’d love to run some more marathons, but I think I’m going to have to wait until I get a little different lifestyle, because that takes a lot of time if you want to do it well.

HH: And you’re still playing hockey? I thought the book made it sound like you’d hung up the skates, that you were too old for that beating?

TP: No, sir. We’re still playing, although now it’s a no-check league. So although we do accidentally run into each other and fall down…

HH: Is that really hockey?

TP: (laughing) Well, we ask ourselves that all the time. But no, it’s a good group. It’s a fun group, and we’re still playing. And I’m fifty now, so I’ve got to take a little better care of myself. I can’t just eat Taco Bell and not exercise. I’m going to have to pay a little attention to that. But I’m going to have to get through this next phase first.

HH: Okay, last three questions. When will you be making your decision on whether you’re going to run and announce it?

TP: You know, sometime in the next couple of months, Hugh. I haven’t set a hard date on it, but if I make the decision, the announcement, I would guess, in March or early April timeframe.

HH: And have you accepted the NBC/ debate? And what do you make about that throw down on May 2nd, where they summoned all the Republican presidential candidates to the Reagan Library?

TP: Well, I have lost track about what the status and timing of that is. I know Nancy Reagan was involved, and we certainly want to be respectful to her, and in gratitude for her legacy. But I think Fox was planning a similar debate either the same day or the day before on the other side of the country. So I think our team, assuming I’m running, is going to have to sort through all of that.

HH: And then finally, assuming you do become the president, I have a minor request.

TP: What is it?

HH: Well, I’d like you to, if you’d consider appointing me the ambassador to the NFL.

TP: Well, I think that’s definitely within the range of doable, and…

HH: Because then I’ll try and bring professional football back to Minnesota.

TP: What’s your Super Bowl prediction?

HH: Oh, that’s the Packers. You know that. You’re not rooting against them, are you?

TP: Well, of course, I’m schizophrenic about it, because we root against them all year. And now to turn the switch and say we’re going to root for them in the Super Bowl is probably a bit much. But I don’t know.

HH: You can’t root for the Steelers, Tim Pawlenty.

TP: Are you old enough to, of course you are, the Immaculate Reception?

HH: Of course. I hate the Steelers.

TP: Why?

HH: They’re the worst franchise. I’m a Browns fan.

TP: You’re a Browns fan?

HH: You need the Upper Midwest. You’re trimming badly.

TP: (laughing)

HH: They’re the Pennsylvania….

TP: (laughing) You’re truly…

HH: Tim Pawlenty, it’s a great book. Courage To Stand’s a wonderful book whether or not you run, and thanks for spending time to talk to us about it.

TP: Thanks, Hugh, I appreciate it.

HH: Thank you, Governor.

TP: Bye bye.

End of interview.


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