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Tim Pawlenty's About-Face on Wall Street

The former presidential candidate blasted big bankers during the GOP primaries. Now he works for them
"I've had my full run" in public life, says Pawlenty
"I've had my full run" in public life, says PawlentyPhotograph by Francesco Nazardo for Bloomberg Businessweek

Tim Pawlenty has got to regret what he calls “the now-infamous ‘snout out of the trough’ line.” Not that he’ll admit it. The former governor of Minnesota and failed Republican presidential candidate is sitting in a Washington corner office still decorated with the grip-and-grin photographs of his predecessor. His black travel roller bag rests nearby. He’s a man in transition, discussing his move through the revolving door from public service to corporate influence.

Seeking his party’s nomination last year, Pawlenty tried to shed a competent-but-bland conservative profile. He engaged in Tea Party-lite attacks on Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. He opposed raising the national debt ceiling, even if that meant a government default and possible economic calamity. And he went on CNN, CNBC, and Fox to deliver “a truth message” to Wall Street: “Get your snout out of the trough.”