Sunday, August 14, 2011

T-Paw's Gone

I have been trying to ignore the 2012 campaign, but it's all over the intertubes that Tim Pawlenty is dropping out of the race following a 3rd place finish in the Ames Straw Poll. Quick thoughts:
  • T-Paw did a very good job here in Minnesota, but the problem with pursuing the presidency is that he didn't have the skill set to mount a national campaign in this era. You can't explain T-Paw's two terms as governor of Minnesota, especially his success in battling the DFL, in a 10-second sound bite.
  • That's also the reason why Michele Bachmann is still in the race and T-Paw is not:  Bachmann is more effective at getting her message across. You need to be able to get ideas through in Twitter-sized bites.
  • It's worth remembering that Pawlenty is only 50 years old. He has plenty of time to do other things in politics. He may consider a run against Amy Klobuchar in this cycle, but that would be a mistake. It's a long time to wait, but T-Paw ought to consider either a run against Al Franken in 2014, or a run for a return engagement to the governor's mansion against Mark Dayton. He would be a strong contender in both races.
  • Best guess: if the GOP is successful in wresting the White House away from the Democrats in 2012, T-Paw will be in line for a cabinet position. If not, he'll wait until 2014. We haven't seen the last of Tim Pawlenty. And that's a good thing.


Brad Carlson said...

It seems a lot of our MN conservative friends still cast T-Paw in a negative light. It's never made a lot of sense to me, since his record would indicate he maximized his ability to govern in his second term despite facing large DFL majorities in both legislative chambers. In that situation, the pragmatic approach seemed to be the only option.

Gino said...

his problem is a lack of overt masculinity.

First Ringer said...

Totally agree, D.

To second Brad's comment, I was frustrated by this "TPaw is a RINO" sort of garbage that many MN conservatives (especially the blogging class) threw out - especially once Bachmann got in.

Was I thrilled with every single thing Pawlenty did while in office? No, but I liked the vast majority of what he did and he definitely turned the state's political conversation towards conservatism. Maybe if the base assumed Obama was stronger, they'd be more willing to listen to TPaw's narrative. Oh, well...Pawlenty always wanted to run for Senate back in 2002 - maybe in four years he'll get his chance.

Anonymous said...

T-Paw did nothing to distinguish himself on a national level. He showed very little moxie and came accross as quite frankly boring. He then decided that it was his duty to take out Bachman. The problem is that politics aside, Bachman has "it" which is the ability to come accross articulately and forcefully. She'll now have to deal the the forceful engine that is Rick Perry, but people constantly bet against her, but I wouldn't.

Night Writer said...

Pawlenty's gone,
one more round,
Pawlenty's gone...

Mr. D said...

Pawlenty's gone,
one more round,
Pawlenty's gone...

Heh. And Bachmann didn't even need to pull out her submachine.

Anonymous said...

I Second Gino and add lack of a jawline too. In the TV age, a President can't have facial hair, but he's gotta have a chin.