The Spectacle Blog

Meat Tim Pawlenty

By on 12.10.10 | 9:49AM

Tim Pawlenty, assumed candidate for the 2012 GOP nomination, has released excerpts from his upcoming book that detail his experiences working at a meat plant with his dad when he was 12, and you may want to hold your noses:

The "side job" included yanking meat hooks from large wooden bins that were stashed in a couple of truck trailers on the lot. Tangled meat hooks that once held whole sides of beef were tossed in those bins, in trucks without Thermo Kings to cool down their trailers. Hundreds of thick, heavy meat hooks, covered with discarded raw remnants of sinew and fat, all rotting in the blistering heat. It was up to my dad and me to pull out every one of those hooks and hang them up – presumably to be power-washed and used again.

Have you ever opened up an expired or rotting pack of hamburger from the bottom of your refrigerator and given it a big whiff? Yeah. Multiply that times a thousand, and you'll get the idea. You could smell that rotting meat as soon as we opened the doors of those trailers.  Then, when we hopped up there, we could hear the buzzing. My dad reached in and grabbed the first hook, and I held my breath and leaned in through a swarm of flies to grab mine – and I lost it. I tossed my cookies next to one of the bins, only adding to the mess and the stench.

He goes on to describe how he and his dad persevered and finished, teaching him a lesson that he applies to the political arena, "when a job needs doing, get it done. Plow through; never give up. Keep moving forward. When it's right, when it's necessary, just do it."

Assuming he runs, Pawlenty will likely try to highlight his working class roots and underdog status, which Mike Huckabee exploited to perfection in Iowa in 2008 to contrast himself with the privliged upbringing of Mitt Romney.

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