I don't think Pawlenty has the triangulating thing down. His budget is only impressive in the way that it manages to piss off both sides.
First, this is by no means a conservative budget. A 9% increase in spending? How is that "smaller government"? A tiny fraction of the surplus spent on tax relief? Lots of borrowing for transportation? I can't see how conservative Republicans can support this budget at all.
But it doesn't go far enough for Democrats either. No promise to provide health care coverage to all kids. No all-day kindergarten. No new transportation money. A somewhat convoluted school "rewards" system that will only serve to reward the schools that don't need the help.
All in all, there is very little leadership in this budget. Pawlenty says that the "status quo" isn't good enough, but he maintains the status quo in plenty of areas. Has he given up? Is he tired? Or is there some other explanation for the lack of inspiration in this budget?