Tim Pawlenty makes Newsweek's "most intriguing" list
|On stands now ...|
In the interview with Howard Finemen, Pawlenty even jokes about the oddness of his inclusion.
Fineman: Governor, for our year-end issue, we wanted to interview intriguing people about the future, including the future of the Republican Party.
Pawlenty: And they weren't available, so you came to see me!
Yes, Sarah Palin was on book tour. What is it about her that is so fascinating?
Well, I think she is a political rock star. She got enormous attention and support from a big chunk of the country as the vice presidential candidate. And she has sustained that. In part, it's because she has tapped into a kind of base-level feeling about the role and scope of government. She speaks bluntly and plainly in ways people can understand.
The oddest moment of the interview comes when T-Paw confesses his one regret was being too nice to cross-dressers.
To borrow a phrase, have your views evolved over time?
In 1993 I voted for a bill prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation in public accommodation, housing, and employment. That was 16 years ago.
Yes, gay-rights activists regarded you as a pretty cool guy at the time.
We overbaked that statute, for a couple of reasons. If I had to do it over again I would have changed some things.
That statute is not worded the way it should be. I said I regretted the vote later because it included things like cross-dressing, and a variety of other people involved in behaviors that weren't based on sexual orientation, just a preference for the way they dressed and behaved. So it was overly broad. So if you are a third-grade teacher and you are a man and you show up on Monday as Mr. Johnson and you show up on Tuesday as Mrs. Johnson, that is a little confusing to the kids. So I don't like that.
Has the law been changed?
No. It should be, though.
So you want to protect kids against cross-dressing elementary-school teachers. Do you have any in Minnesota?
Probably. We've had a few instances, not exactly like that, but similar.