Governor Pawlenty is scheduled to speak to the Family Research Council's Watchmen on the Wall Minnesota event on Monday. The organization's website lists Pawlenty as one of the group's featured speakers. Others include FRC President Tony Perkins and Minnesota Family Institute CEO John Helmberger. The event is targeting Minnesota's pastors to:
* Be informed on the current legal and spiritual challenges facing the church
* Connect with other pastors and ministers in Minnesota
* Receive a free Voter Impact Toolkit
* Enjoy a complimentary lunch
You will leave encouraged, refreshed, and empowered to address the critical issues you and your church face in the important days ahead.
The Minnesota Family Institute and the Family Research Council have been pushing to ban same sex marriage and is opposed to legalized abortion. Pawlenty, who is ramping up a bid for the White House in 2012, is scheduled to speak to the group in the morning. The event could help Pawlenty market his presidential qualifications to Perkins and the other leaders in the Family Research Council. The group is a political force on social conservative issues and reportedly has 455,000 members.
However, it will be difficult to know what Pawlenty says to the group, however. Pawlenty's spokesman says the event is closed to the press.
Good heavens, look at that--a Minnesota journalist reported on the presence of the national evangelical conservative movement here in Minnesota.
I honestly don't know what to say Four years ago, on this very blog, MPR editor Bob Collins told me that he couldn't see how Michele Bachmann's faith was any more relevant in politics than his mother's Methodism.
At the time that Bob wrote that, the evangelical conservative political machine already constituted a de facto third party, and already had a strong operation here in Minnesota.
It's still a de facto third party in national and local politics (which is why Pawlenty wants to court it.) But if you look for coverage of this "third party" in Minnesota news (the way the journalists cover the doings of the Dems and GOP)--you just won't find it.
Scheck's piece here is a refreshing acknowledgment of the existence of the most consistently powerful force in American conservatism. The media frenzy is over the tea party, but the tea party pales in comparison--largely because the tea party's political heroes (Bachmann, DeMint, O'Donnell, etc.) are creatures of the national evangelical conservative movement.
I wonder when some professional political journalist will come along and put all that currently reality together for the readers and voters? About four years from now, if MPR is the model for media insight.