In the early days of the 2008 presidential race, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) tried pretty hard to raise his visibility and name recognition, but at times, he tried a little too hard. Campaigning in Iowa in March 2011, the St. Paul native inexplicably adopted a Southern accent, in an apparent bid to appear folksy.
When Minnesotans were played an audio clip of Pawlenty’s remarks in Iowa, they had no idea who they were listening to. One said, “He didn’t talk like that when he was governor.”
The larger lesson: politicians shouldn’t adopt fake accents. It’s a lesson Ohio’s Josh Mandel apparently missed.
Mandel, a far-right U.S. Senate candidate perhaps best known for trying to routinely deceive the public, doesn’t speak with a Southern accept, but this week, he suddenly developed one on the campaign trail.
The Cincinnati Enquirer reported, “In Beallsville, [Mitt] Romney briefly yielded the stage to U.S. Senate candidate Josh Mandel, who gave an odd minute-and-a-half speech where he started with a southern accent unheard before. Mandel lives in Lyndhurst near Cleveland.”