Pawlenty: Do It Like Elin (Not Tiger)

Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty had some advice for conservatives this morning at CPAC. Right now, he told the crowd, Tiger Woods is about to hold his own press conference. Conservatives, however, should take a page out of Elin’s book in dealing with the administration. “Take a nine iron and smash the window of big government in this country!”

The crowd, which is less energetic today, loved it. But earlier jokes of Pawlenty, who has been touted as a possible conservative pick for 2012, fell flat. He made the same jokes about the D.C. snowstorm as previous speakers have (“Any day that  Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi can’t get to work is a good day for freedom, liberty, and people’s wallets”) and also told the crowd, which has heard at least 15 different references to Obama’s schoolroom teleprompter moment, that they wouldn’t believe it—Obama needed a teleprompter! “That’s not a joke…that’s a real story,” Pawlenty told the crowd, looking out of touch but getting a polite applause.

A main theme, for Pawlenty and all speakers: getting spending under control. “We can’t spend more than we have,” he told the crowd, getting a hearty reaction to that simple statement. Pawlenty was introduced by Grover Norquist, who recommended keeping a special eye on reaction to Pawlenty. No rounds of standing ovations like Marco Rubio got yesterday, but a nice rousing welcome and departure applause. Rubio is clearly the darling of this CPAC.