Tim Pawlenty Leaves Romney Campaign to Lobby for Banks that Crashed the Economy
Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, pictured in February, is widely considered a "safe" choice for vice president for Republican hopeful Mitt Romney.
Whatever aspirations Tim Pawlenty may have had about snagging the vice presidency in a hypothetical Mitt Romney administration are officially over, as the former Minnesota governor takes a big-wig financial industry lobbying job.
The AP reports that Pawlenty is stepping down from his role as national co-chair of the Romney campaign to take the gig at Financial Services Roundtable, which starts November 1. Pawlenty will be CEO of the lobbying group, which represents Bank of America, Citigroup, and Wells Fargo among its 100 or so clients. The LA Times:
Pawlenty suceeds Steve Bartlett, a former Republican congressman from Texas who has headed the group since 1999. He announced his retirement this year and Pawlenty will take over on Nov. 1.
The Financial Services Roundtable is a key player in Washington and has worked limit the impact on the industry of some provisions of the Dodd-Frank financial reform law. When the legislation was passed in 2010, Bartlett said, "There is plenty here to like and a good bit to question."
So Pawlenty had wanted to be president this year, but decided lobbying for the nation's mega-banks was his next best bet. That should tell us something about his priorities as a former -- and perhaps future -- presidential hopeful. MPR's Bob Collins:
Pawlenty will get tons of face time on the business channels on television. Those are the kind of friends and the kind of exposure that can get you elected president, a position that's easier to get from Washington than Minnesota.
But what the move shows is that even after a collapsed economy, largely spawned by the practices of the financial services industry, there's no political stain to be had by throwing in with the industry.
The revolving door goes 'round and 'round and 'round and 'round...
The realquestion though is whether Pawlenty plans to tell Wall Street to "get its snout out of the trough" in his new role, as he did in the video below in June 2011. No? You don't think so? (hat tip)