[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/05/23/art.tpawsotu0523.cnn.jpg caption="'It’s not just anti-incumbent. It’s what that incumbency represents,' Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty said of the political climate Sunday on CNN."]
Washington (CNN) – One of the possible contenders for the Republican Party’s 2012 presidential nod has some guidance for incumbents running in 2010’s tough, anti-establishment political environment.
“I think the best advice for anybody running is to be for change,” Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty said Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union.
Wearing the hat of a political strategist for a few moments, the Republican governor parsed the current political climate which is toppling incumbents in Congress even before November’s midterm general election.
“It’s not just anti-incumbent. It’s what that incumbency represents. It represents a commitment to – or a sense of a commitment – to a flawed past, flawed strategies, out-of-control spending, out-of-control deficits, an economy that has not yet recovered … is sputtering.
“So that’s not just against incumbents. It’s dissatisfaction with the substance underneath it and it really relates profoundly to the economy,” Pawlenty said.
Pawlenty is widely considered by political observers to be laying the groundwork for a White House bid in 2012. His term as Minnesota’s chief executive is up early next year and in the past two weeks he has emerged victorious in a budget stand-off with the state’s Democratically controlled legislature.