Tim Pawlenty Book Courage to Stand Possible Precursor for 2012 Bid

State   Steven Ertelt   Dec 10, 2010   |   12:53PM    St. Paul, MN

Governor Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota will unveil a new autobiographical book Courage to Stand next month and the book tour associated with it has political observers speculating its a precursor to a presidential bid.

The pro-life governor shares his story of coming up from a blue collar, working class background to become a state legislator and the chief executive of the Midwestern state.

Pawlenty, who has won accolades from pro-life organizations for his leadership and consistency on pro-life issues, won the respect of his colleague governors, who rewarded him by naming him the head of the Republican Governor’s Association.

But the eight state book tour to promote Courage to Stand will have the governor, who leaves office next month after deciding against running for a third term, heading to key primary election states.

The tour includes stops in New Hampshire and Iowa — three in each state — and he will also make appearances on “The View” and “The Daily Show.”

“Governor Pawlenty writes about growing up in the gritty meat-packing town of South St. Paul, his political battles as governor of Minnesota, and his vision for a better America,” a press release about the book says.

The book will be published by Tyndale House, a leading Christian publisher (Pawlenty grew up Catholic but converted to an evangelical Christian after meeting his wife and attending her church).

At a dinner sponsored by the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List earlier this year, Pawlenty took on Obama and ObamaCare.

Pawlenty told the audience, “This administration and this Congress is being more hostile and challenging the pro-life position and values than any time since Roe v. Wade.”

“We don’t honor the Constitution when we elevate a vague idea that is the right to privacy over the right to life,” Pawlenty added.

The governor urged pro-life advocates to re-engage in the long-term battle despite losing the skirmish over the pro-abortion health care bill.

“We have to realize that this is not just about the tactics,” he said, according to Politico. “The laws and the court decisions and the like will change when hearts are changed and minds are changed.”

“Our values are under attack and under siege,” he added. “We’re on the right side of history when it comes to protecting and defending life.”

Pawlenty has also won accolades from pro-life advocates for opposing a “truce” Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels suggested on abortion, rejecting ObamaCare, vetoing a human cloning bill, going against other governors and accepting abstinence education funding, and for helping implement the Positive Alternatives program that has resulted in reducing abortions in Minnesota.

The governor’s January appearances for the book include:

Thursday, 1/13 (Washington, DC)

  • National Press Club Speech, Washington, DC
  • Book signing in Washington, DC

Friday, 1/14 (Florida)

  • Speak at the Hispanic Leadership Network Inaugural Conference, Miami, FL
  • Book Signing in Tampa, FL

Tuesday, 1/18 (Minnesota)

  • Book Signing, Woodbury, MN

Thursday, 1/20 (Texas)

  • Book Signing, Dallas, TX

Friday, 1/21 (Texas)

  • Book Signing in Dallas, TX
  • Book Signing in Houston, TX

Monday, 1/24 (New Hampshire)

  • Merrimack County GOP Dinner, Merrimack County, NH

Tuesday, 1/25 (New Hampshire)

  • Politics & Eggs, Bedford, NH

Thursday, 1/27 (Minnesota)

  • Book Signing in Burnsville, MN
  • Book Signing in St. Cloud, MN

Saturday, 1/29 (Ohio)

  • 12th Annual Hamilton County Pancake Breakfast, Cincinnati, OH

Sunday, 1/30 (Iowa)

  • Book Signing, Ankeny, IA
  • Waukee Chamber of Commerce Dinner

Monday, 1/31 (Iowa)

  • Book Signing, West Des Moines, IA

Book excerpt:

I think I was about 12 when my Dad picked up a side job to earn a few bucks one weekend — a side job that required my help.

It was a hot, sweltering summer day, the kind of day when outside work is the last thing anyone wants to do. But my dad clearly needed me, and I always wanted to lend a hand if I could. I didn’t ask a lot of questions, and he didn’t give me very much information about the task at hand – until we got down to this parking lot beside a warehouse.

The “side job” included yanking meat hooks from large wooden bins that were stashed in a couple of truck trailers on the lot. Tangled meat hooks that once held whole sides of beef were tossed in those bins, in trucks without Thermo Kings to cool down their trailers. Hundreds of thick, heavy meat hooks, covered with discarded raw remnants of sinew and fat, all rotting in the blistering heat. It was up to my dad and me to pull out every one of those hooks and hang them up – presumably to be power-washed and used again.

Have you ever opened up an expired or rotting pack of hamburger from the bottom of your refrigerator and given it a big whiff? Yeah. Multiply that times a thousand, and you’ll get the idea. You could smell that rotting meat as soon as we opened the doors of those trailers.  Then, when we hopped up there, we could hear the buzzing. My dad reached in and grabbed the first hook, and I held my breath and leaned in through a swarm of flies to grab mine – and I lost it. I tossed my cookies next to one of the bins, only adding to the mess and the stench.

My dad didn’t say much to me. I looked up at him, hoping for an out. He isn’t really gonna make me keep doing this, is he? My dad’s face was steady. He wasn’t having an easy go of it either. But he looked at me and said quietly, “We have to do this.”

It was all he needed to say.

We have to do this. We may not want to. We may not like it. It may be messy. But there are times in life when we “have to.” We keep moving forward, regardless of the challenge. Our family needed money, and my dad needed my help. So I wiped my mouth on my short-sleeved shirt, pulled my gloves on a little tighter, and stuck my hands back into the hooks. Over the course of a few hours, we got the job done.

We have to do this. It’s impossible to count how many times I’ve applied that lesson in my life, especially in the political arena, where the tangled mess often seems insurmountable. When a job needs doing, get it done. Plow through; never give up. Keep moving forward. When it’s right, when it’s necessary, just do it.

My parents taught me many lessons in those early years, many of which slipped quietly into my subconscious. I’m forever grateful to both of them for for all they did for me, for all of us kids. They were the constants in my life.