Tim Pawlenty’s vocal migration
Maybe it’s the charges of elitism that have dogged native sons like Al Franken, Bob Dylan and the Coen brothers, but for whatever reason, being from Minnesota doesn’t always telegraph populism or relatability to the American people at large. Or at least that’s what 2012 presidential hopeful (and former Minnesota governor) Tim Pawlenty seems to think, according to Minnesota Public Radio. MPR’s Mark Zdechlik reports that in Pawlenty’s recent appearances on the national stage, the Minnesota native seems to be taking on a pseudo-Southern drawl that’s a marked difference from how he used to talk when addressing fellow Minnesotans.
MPR’s Bob Collins put together a handy then-and-now Pawlenty accent comparison tool to let listeners judge for themselves:
The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank noticed the same thing, parsing Pawlenty’s March 7 speech to the Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition in an editorial:
“This ain’t about easy; this is about rolling up our sleeves and plowing ahead and getting the job done,” he said, pronouncing “getting” as “git-ing.” “We, the people of the United States, will rise up again.” “United” became “yew-nah-ted” and “again” became “a-gin.” Perhaps he thought he was in South Carolina (Pawlenty pronounced it “care-lahna”) as he spoke about the other “kinds (kahns) of things” he’s done.
Video of the portion of Pawlenty’s speech that Milbank cites can be seen below: