It's not hard to imagine what a Republican presidential campaign will look like in 2012 ("Obama sux! Spending sux! Taxing sux!"). In case you wanted to stop imagining and actually see what it would look like, Mitt Romney and Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty offered previews of their future stump speeches at CPAC last week.
Both men showed that they will go after Obama's spending, his unwillingness to get tough with foreign governments, and his treatment of terrorism suspects. Their speeches shared many themes, but don't make the mistake of thinking these two men are the same person. If you looked hard enough, you could find differences.
Romney, for example, didn't mention gay marriage or abortion, while Pawlenty used code phrases like "the sanctity of life" and "traditional marriages" to make it clear to the base where he stands on social issues.
Okay, so they're not the same person, but they did both make a bad joke about President Obama and the Olympics.
Mr. Romney: “In case you didn’t hear the late-breaking news, the gold medal in the downhill given to American Lindsey Vonn has been stripped. It was determined that President Obama is going downhill faster than she is!”
Mr. Pawlenty: “If government spending were an Olympic sport, he would be a repeat gold medalist.”