THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW: The Bridge Collapse That Could Ruin PawlentyJune 19th, 2012 5:47 pm Henry Decker
When John McCain picked Sarah Palin to run with him, we quickly learned that her teenage daughter was pregnant — and then even more stories started piling up. What will the rest of America learn the day after Mitt Romney selects his vice-presidential nominee? What are the skeletons in the closets his team is prying open as they try to find the best debate opponent for Joe Biden? To answer those questions, we bring you The Day After Tomorrow, a new series previewing the veep scandals everyone may soon be talking about.
Tim Pawlenty — the former Minnesota governor who briefly ran for president in 2012 before being outflanked by Michele Bachmann — has emerged as a possible vice presidential running mate after spending the past several months enthusiastically stumping for Mitt Romney. As an informal Romney adviser told MSNBC’s Michael O’Brien, Pawlenty’s stock has recently improved, largely because the vanilla Pawlenty would never overshadow Romney.
Just because Pawlenty himself comes off as bland doesn’t mean that there’s nothing interesting in his record, however. Were Pawlenty to be selected, the media would certainly take a much closer look at his role in the tragic Interstate 35W bridge collapse.
On August 1, 2007, the I-35W Mississippi River bridge in Minneapolis suddenly collapsed in the middle of rush hour. 13 people were killed and 145 were injured in the disaster, which the National Transportation Safety Board later determined was caused by steel gusset plates that were too small and inadequate to support the load of the bridge.
Minnesotans immediately began wondering how the tragedy could have been prevented, and fingers began pointing at Pawlenty soon after.