Video: Pawlenty reacts to Obama’s reelection announcement
The same morning President Barack Obama announced he’s running for re-election, Minnesota’s Tim Pawlenty countered with a video rebuttal. Like his previous Hollywood-style offerings, this one combines a cinematic soundtrack with quick-cut editing. This time it’s a compilation of doom-and-gloom footage — complete with a clip of lightning ominously striking the White House — about unemployment, foreclosures and high gas prices that includes Pawlenty’s respond to Obama’s “win the future” rhetoric: “How can America lose the future when we’re losing the present?”
But as Iowa Democrats criticize the video’s “Nighttime in America’ pessimism, Slate’s David Weigel notes something else about the spot: The inclusion of New York Times columnist Paul Krugman.
Aside from Pawlenty, Krugman is one of only two people shown in the video; “Washington has given up on the jobs picture,” he says. But Weigel notes that Krugman is an odd inclusion, because he’s not on “the same page as Pawlenty when he talks about the economy.” He offers the full context of Krugman’s statment (emphasis his):
I would just say that the aftermath of a terrible financial crisis, and this was the worst financial crisis since the 1930s, is always a prolonged period of weak growth. And the tragedy is that Washington has given up on the jobs picture. It’s not that — it’s not a failure of policy. I think the policies that we have undertaken made things less bad than they would have been. But here we are with still terrible unemployment rate, 37 weeks the average unemployed person is unemployed. And no interest in Washington about doing anything to create jobs.
In a post called Pawlenty “Accidentally Endorses Keynesian Economics,” Weigel notes what an “odd” choice the excerpt is for Pawlenty: “When [Krugman] says ‘Washington’ has given up he is criticizing Obama but he’s criticizing him for conceding the House Republicans’ argument that a massive spending cut, not more stimulus spending, is what’s needed right now.”
Meanwhile, Democrats in Iowa, America’s first caucus state, are quick with a response. “’Nighttime in America’ is a lousy idea for a bumper sticker and an
even worse idea of leadership,” says Iowa Democratic Party Executive Director Norm Sterzenbach in a statement. Given his record of debt and failure in Minnesota it’s not surprising that Tim Pawlenty has a gloomy and pessimistic outlook for our country and doesn’t think we can win the future. The American people, on the other hand, don’t just believe we can win the future but that with the leadership of President Obama, we already are beginning to do so.”