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Rudy Takala's Columns

Pawlenty Iowa Staffer Drunk; Vomits on Family's Porch (4.07.2011)

This may not be the kind of publicity Gov. Pawlenty is looking for in his campaign for president, but it's the publicity his employees are getting for him!
 
According to the Des Moines register, Ben Limbaugh Foster of Alabama was working on Gov. Pawlenty's presidential campaign in Iowa when he became intoxicated, went to what he thought was his home, and tried to get in. In the process, he vomited on the home's back deck.
 
The homeowner held him at gun point until police arrived. Foster is being charged with public intoxication and trespassing.
 
Click here to see the story online.
 
To those who were privy to Governor Pawlenty's campaign apparatus when it was exclusive to Minnesota, this story isn't a big surprise. It was routine to witness Pawlenty staffers engaging in less-than-responsible activities at different events.
 
Yet in his pursuit of the presidency, Pawlenty will need to step up the quality of his campaign staff if he wants to win. This is true for two reasons.
 
Firstly, it may work to hire people who don't act professionally on a smaller scale. The spotlight is not as intense, and the media does not pick up on personality traits as quickly. The media does not create a theme that they will apply to a candidate as easily or as quickly.
 
On a national level, the media may soon observe this sort of behavor become an ongoing trend for the Pawlenty campaign. Very literally, these are the sort of people that Pawlenty's highest advisors seem to hire. It is across the board and has been the case for years.
 
Repeated mishaps will create a theme that the media picks up on, and the media will be quick to remind voters of it consistently for the duration of Pawlenty's time in the spotlight.
 
Secondly, Pawlenty depends on social and religious conservatives to propel his candidacy. His devotion to a Christian worldview is one of the main themes about himself that he has tried to portray. In an interview with Christianity Today this past January (click here to view it in full), he stated the following:
 
I started with the perspective of someone who says that faith is separate from public law and public service; it really isn't. We have, as a country, a founding perspective that we're founded under God; our founding documents reference and acknowledge God, and acknowledge that our rights and privileges come from our Creator.
 
As a candidate who is making a concerted effort to talk about his religious faith, it will be difficult to explain away his staff members' divergence from Christian values. This will be particularly true if it is a recurring issue.

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