At almost precisely the minute that Michele Bachmann was declaring her presidential candidacy in Iowa at the end of June, I was interviewing Tim Pawlenty in a borrowed conference room in a midtown Manhattan financial firm. For much of our interview, the long-faced, dark-haired-flecked-with-gray, 50-year-old Pawlenty sat tall in his chair, rarely fidgeting, his hand gestures confined to occasionally pointing for emphasis. Though he maintained steady eye contact, many of his answers were campaign boilerplate, and his mind sometimes seemed miles away.
Coral Davenport has a thorough account of the very sad tale of Tim Pawlenty's embrace and subsequent abandonment of cap and trade. Pawlenty initially took up the cause with a fervor that was quite literally religious: Pawlenty also had a personal motivation. As an evangelical Christian, he had been brought to believe in the urgency of climate change by his pastor, Leith Anderson, who earlier in 2006 had banded with a group of other evangelical leaders to challenge the Bush administration on global warming.