Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Pawlenty, Schwarzenegger, China, and lame movie references

Just once I would like to see an article about Schwarzenegger that doesn’t make a lame reference to a lame movie.

Schwarzenegger, Pawlenty to visit China
Janet Moore

This November, get ready for gubernatorial Twins: Schwarzenegger and Pawlenty.

An unlikely duo, perhaps. But the two Republicans will arrive in China next month on separate trade missions with the common goal of harnessing just a bit of that country's emerging economic firepower.

Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty will arrive first on Nov. 12, with California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger trailing him by a day or two.

The governors will visit the same cities, in the same order: Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong.

But the fact that he will precede Conan the Barbarian -- that is, a superstar governor hailing from the world's fifth-largest economy -- hasn't deterred Pawlenty.

"The governor thinks that China is more than big enough to accommodate two big trade missions at a time," said his spokesman Brian McClung.

Besides, McClung added, Pawlenty's trade mission is bigger.

"Certainly Governor Schwarzenegger is an international superstar," he conceded. "But we're proud Minnesota is bringing the largest trade mission from any state ever to China."

Minnesota will be represented by more than 200 delegates, some of whom hail from the state's corporate gold standard, including companies such as Best Buy Co. Inc., 3M Co. and Medtronic Inc.

Further, the state's trade office has been meticulously planning Pawlenty's eight-day trade mission for about nine months now, while Schwarzenegger's staff says it is still working on his itinerary. And it's unclear just yet how many people will accompany him on the trip, according to his press office.

Schwarzenegger originally planned to visit China in April but rescheduled the trip so he could work on several ballot initiatives, according to published reports. Now, apparently, the Governator is ready to do a few deals with the fastest-growing market in the 21st century.

But so is Pawlenty, not to mention a host of other governors and officials from around the world. Last month, Quebec Premier Jean Charest's trade mission was delayed when its Air Canada pilot suffered from a gripping attack of appendicitis en route to Beijing. The incident highlighted the seemingly constant stream of foreign trade delegations descending upon China these days.

Schwarzenegger's trip announcement in mid-September merely reinforces the economic importance of China -- and its 1.3 billion potential customers -- to all states.

"It certainly does speak to China's emerging prominence in the global economy -- and the fact that we're not the only state with 'China on Our Mind,' " said Kit Borgman, spokeswoman for Minnesota's Department of Employment and Economic Development.

Pawlenty's aides say he harbors no hard feelings toward Schwarzenegger, or his schedulers.

In fact, the two have met on several occasions, McClung said, noting, "Governor Pawlenty really likes and respects Governor Schwarzenegger."

Maybe so, but Pawlenty's impending mission hasn't exactly resonated in some California trade circles.

One state official, when asked to name the governor of Minnesota, demurred: "I think I could name the governor of Michigan."

Sorry, dude. Wrong state.
(Source: Star Tribune, Oct. 5, 2005)

Let’s see, Twins, Conan the Barbarian, and everyone’s favorite, the Governorator. What’s a matter, couldn’t anyone think of a Jingle All the Way reference?


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