Tim Pawlenty's Running for President: Why?

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Today, Tim Pawlenty again announced that he's running for President – a fact that he's made pretty clear over the past two years. But telling the country why he's running for President seems to be a different matter.

Despite all the time he's spent putting aside his duties as governor to set up a presidential campaign, Tim Pawlenty doesn't have a compelling rationale for his candidacy.

He can't run on his record in Minnesota, where he cut services, raised taxes, and left the state with a $6 billion deficit and plummeting approval ratings.

He can't appeal to conservative activists after supporting measures like cap and trade and the Bush administration's deficit-busting policies. And he can't now run as a moderate either after trying to position himself with the Tea Party, flip-flopping onclimate change, and supporting the end of Medicare.

Maybe Tim Pawlenty can't articulate a coherent vision for the country because he doesn't have one. He may want to be all things to all people, but desperately trying to ingratiate himself with anyone and everyone is not a substitute for strong leadership.