JEFF PEARLMAN

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“I was the first to …”

Was at the gym tonight, watching Fox News. Greta van Susteren* was interviewing Tim Pawlenty, the ex-Minnesota governor who announced his presidential exploratory committee today.**

During the segment, Pawlenty—a tool’s tool—was asked about Libya. After properly positioning himself by noting that, in times of war we need to stand behind the president, he ripped the president. Which, technically, wasn’t a big deal, because everyone in Pawlenty’s shoes (no-shot candidate trying to stir the base) rips the president. It’s what he uttered next that got me …

“Greta,” he said, “I was the first one to call for a no-fly zone over Libya, and …”

OK, timeout. Tim Pawlenty is, technically and factually, a nobody. He holds no position, and hasn’t been the governor in more than a year. He is a professional candidate, roaming the nation raising as much money as humanly possible so that his no-chance-in-hell campaign can score 6 percentage points in Iowa and place seventh behind Rajai Davis. So even if he were the first “one” to call for a no-fly zone over Libya, it’d be irrelevant, because he’s just some guy. That’s all—just a guy. No power, no say, nothing.

Second, he wasn’t the first to call for a no-fly zone. I know this, because my daughter Casey was. Two weeks ago, during a detailed conversation about the bully in her class, she stopped everything and said, “Daddy, not to get away from the subject. But we really need a no-fly zone in Libya.”

OK, Casey.

“Daddy?”

Yes, Casey.

“Where’s Libya?”

I digress. With Pawlenty’s stupid claim to nonsense leadership, the crazy season of “I was the first to …” has begun. It’s the march toward leadership; toward convincing idiot primary and star voters that you’re a person of vision; of insight; of … whatever you want them to think you’re a person of.

Trust me, Tim Pawlenty is person of only one thing …

Bather.