As campaign trail barbs go this election cycle, Tim Pawlenty's remarks at a gathering of local Republicans in Humboldt, Iowa, were pretty tame. According to ABC News's Matthew Jaffe, the candidate took a shot at the incumbent by "reprising one of his favorite comparisons for the president by likening him to 'a manure spreader in a windstorm.'" It wasn't the first time he used that colorful phrase. Back in July he told another crowd in Iowa, "Anyone can stand up here and flap their jaw and give a speech. We've had Obama with all his soaring rhetoric, with all this nonsense, he's like a manure spreader in a windstorm. It stinks. It's flying all over the place and it's not pretty." In May, in Des Moines, he told yet another crowd the White House "should be focused like a laser on jobs, not acting like a manure spreader in a windstorm." Pawlenty seems to like the line so much he's been using it for at least two years.
But it's not just Pawlenty's recycled manure zinger that tends towards the scatological. As careful obervers of presidential candidate rhetoric, we've noticed that stool frequently stands out. Behold, an abbreviated history (alas, we could not find his writings from junior high school) of Pawlenty's penchant for toilet humor:
- Like so many politicians before him, Pawlenty began feeling out a campaign by writing a book, published in January with the noble title Courage to Stand. In it, Pawlenty explains how he coped in August 2008, when John McCain picked Sarah Palin to be his running mate, even though many had speculated it would be Pawlenty.
"As I put the little bag over my hand and bent down to pick up her poop, I thought to myself, Well, this is the only number two I'll be picking up today."
- In April, Pawlenty hammered Obama on national security. He told Dennis Miller:
"I think what happens now is that the intelligence folks come in and brief him in the morning, and he's probably looking for a pair of Depends."
- In June, Pawlenty unveiled his economic plan, which calls for a $11.6 trillion tax cut and growing the economy by 5 percent each year--which hasn't happened since 1984. In a speech presenting the plan, Pawlenty explained why the target had to be so high.
"If that 5 percent becomes 4, 3, 2 or 1 percent, we're in deep doo-doo."
- In May of 2007, when he was still governor of Minnesota, he emphasized the importance of a good education.
"I wish I could wave a magic wand and legislate good parents... If you don't graduate from high school ... you're in deep doo-doo in this economy."
- And in October of the same year, Pawlenty presided over the grand opening of the first American power plant to use poultry waste for fuel. Surrounded by 250 dignitaries and guests, Pawlenty told locals to be proud to be from the town where the plant was built.