Tim Pawlenty Makes Plays On-Air and Online

Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty went up with a television ad in Iowa that highlights his record of turning a liberal state more conservative.

“In a liberal state, I reduced spending in real terms for the first time, took on the government unions and won, appointed a conservative supreme court and passed health care reform the right way – no mandates, no takeover,” Pawlenty says in the ad. “If I can do it in Minnesota, we can do it in Washington.”

The ad, titled “results, not rhetoric,” is perhaps a shot at Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, often derided by her critics as someone who has had no significant legislative accomplishments to back up her rhetorical flourishes, who will announce her candidacy in Waterloo, Iowa on Monday.

The ad is a play to get Pawlenty some buzz before the critical Ames Straw Poll, which the Pawlenty camp is hoping will propel his name ID and give the campaign a jolt of momentum going into the fall campaign season.

So it was not without coincidence that Pawlenty debuted a website specifically for the Straw Poll.

The website has a section about Tim Pawlenty, has a fantastically produced video of Pawlenty that allows him to introduce himself to voters and gives logistical information for those inclined to go to the Straw Poll.

Both the ad and the website may indicate that Team Pawlenty realizes that, even in these early stages, the campaign, perhaps like the candidate himself, may need a jolt of energy. It also showcases the organizational strength of Pawlenty, something that will allow him to capitalize on any positive buzz and momentum the campaign gets in the future.