Free Markets, Free People

Perry in, Pawlenty out

It should really come as no surprise that former MN Governor Tim Pawlenty has chosen to drop out of the race for the GOP nomination for President.  AP reports:

Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty dropped out of the race for the GOP presidential nomination on Sunday, hours after finishing a disappointing third in the Iowa straw poll.

"I wish it would have been different. But obviously the pathway forward for me doesn’t really exist so we are going to end the campaign," Pawlenty said on ABC’s "This Week" from Iowa shortly after disclosing his plans in a private conference call with supporters.

The low-key Midwesterner and two-term governor had struggled to gain traction in a state he had said he must win and never caught fire nationally with a Republican electorate seemingly craving a charismatic, nonestablishment, rabble-rouser to go up against President Barack Obama.

Whether or not it is necessary for the candidate to be “charismatic, nonestablishment and a rabble-rouser” remains to be seen, but the activist community within the GOP didn’t seem to be particularly taken by Pawlenty or his campaign.   He blew his first chance to impress them by pulling punches when it came to Mitt Romney, and while a bit more feisty in this last debate, he faded into obscurity during the second hour.

But in the final analysis, Pawlenty obviously saw the handwriting on the wall with the entrance of Rick Perry, governor of Texas, into the race.   He quickly vaulted to the top of the charts and Pawlenty, being the sensible and reasonable person he is, weighed the possibility of his success in the pursuit of his goal and decided it wasn’t going to happen.  I respect him for that.

Doug Mataconis at Outside The Beltway adds:

Pawlenty had begun telegraphing this possibility last week, and while a third place finish was within the range he said that he wanted to finish in, the fact that he finished far behind the two leaders and only a few hundred votes ahead of Rick Santorum was likely the death knell for his campaign. As I’ve said here repeatedly, Iowa  was a do-or-die state for Pawlenty, if he didn’t succeed there his campaign was never going to take off nationally. For a time, it seemed like T-Paw would be the candidate who would rise to challenge Romney, but he remained at single digits in the polls and was eclipsed, first by Herman Cain and then by fellow Minnesotan Michele Bachmann. Now, with Rick Perry in the race, the odds of Pawlenty ever becoming anything other than a minor candidate were likely pretty much dead.

Have to agree.  As Mataconis mentions later on, look for Pawlenty to be on the short list for VP when the eventual nominee is decided.


Twitter: @McQandO

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19 Responses to Perry in, Pawlenty out

  • I’m a little more troubled by who won the straw poll.

  • I think (hope) the Republican electorate has reached the end of their patience with Bushian facilitator type politicians.

    All of them, including Pawlenty and Romney, value “getting something done” over “doing the right thing”. They regard lack of a deal as a failure. Not surprising – that’s been one of the prime rules of politics for decades.

    Problem is, the left and their allies in the media and academia have rigged that game. A possible deal just about always moves things to the left. Facilitator types grow to believe that moving things to the left on their terms instead of the left’s terms is better than nothing. They’re wrong about that – doing it that way is the best of both worlds for the left. They get some of what they want, and the get to scream and demonize the Republicans who caved as nasty, mean, cruel, dumb, or whatever invective they need, just because the Republicans didn’t give them everything they wanted. Thus they bank whatever gains they got, and have a ready-made excuse to immediately start the next round to try and get more.

    Perry is a wee bit too smooth for me, but he doesn’t seem to be a Bushian facilitator. He seems prepared to go to the wall when he needs to. That’s no small thing. He might be the right combination of electability and toughness that will hit the sweet spot among the Republican primary voters.

    I can’t get that excited about him – it’s my fear that we’re always doomed to have Republican presidential candidates that are just short of what we must have to turn things around, and he could be in that category. Plus the social conservative stuff always threatens to be a distraction from the laser focus on slashing government that’s needed. But at least I wouldn’t cringe if he were nominated and elected. There’s at least some chance he would do what’s necessary.

    • They regard lack of a deal as a failure. Not surprising – that’s been one of the prime rules of politics for decades.

      Shades of Lyndon Johnson, the epitome of a “deal maker” on the national scene.

      • In DC, making the “deal” is synonymous with “government doing something.”

      • That is the outcome when you have two people sparring, neither of which have any principles. For most of my adult life, the sparring has been bwtween two sides, with the inevitible outcome to the left of where we are. If the only possible outcome is some degree or another to the left, the outcome is a difference without a distinction. The radical right is just right of center these days. We are called radical if we try to pull back even a bit closer to the center. The whole debate is no longer if we can get back to the center, bt ANYWHERE to the right of where we currently are. This is what the American people are beginning to see, thanks to the TEA party “radicals”. This is also why Romney is too slick, and Pawlenty is too pale. Neither one of them have much in the way of PRINCIPLE to stand on. Just saying.

        • I’d say that’s about right. The biggest frustration in my life observing politics is how “compromise” has received a post-modern redefinition as “accommodating the left, but fiddling at the edges to make it look like the right got something from the deal”. Anything that moves things to the right has been redefined by our political class as “extreme”.  

          Not counting tax cuts (which don’t per se reduce the growth of government), I can’t think of any signficant “compromise” that actually moved things a micron to the right except for welfare reform in the 1990s and some of the deregulation started by Carter and continued by Reagan. Both of those had superb paybacks, so in a rational world where those positive effects were exposed via an objective media, more such real compromises would be reached, and we might have some feedback that keeps government moving around a defined, stable size instead of drifting relentlessly larger and more expensive.

          That’s not my optimum. I’d like to see government half the size it is now (or smaller). But it beats the heck out of ever-increasing government size, government spending, government debt, and government regulation.

    • I’ve seen the “deal maker” types in the corporate world.  The deal is all that matters .. nothing else.
      Making the deal is more important than who it helps or who it hurts.  It’s like they are paid by the “deal.”

  • charismatic, nonestablishment, rabble-rouser
    Ummm…  No.
    The first two, plus “opinion leader”.
    Sounds like a coupla people I could name…

    • Remember, Rags, the post-modern left gets to define the terms and that they consider reality a matter of opinion. If they can establish the narrative that Perry is a rabble-rouser, that Bush is an idiot, that Palin is a dumb snowbilly, that Bachmann is a wild-eye crazy woman, then as far as they are concerned, that becomes the truth.

      • Yeah, Billy.  I know.  But I DO like to point out the tells they employ.
        Like we are the paranoids in Kansas…
        While President Limp Duck is just like Martin Luther King, Jr….
        It is TOO funny…while being too deadly serious

    • I first was drawn to Tim Pawlenty during the 2000 Florida recount when he showed up on TV as the calm intelligent adult in the room. I had hoped for more from him during his campaign, but he seemed to have left the “fire in the belly” at home.

  • Perry said his prime focus would be to make Washington as inconsequential as possible in the lives of Americans.
    He had me at “inconsequential”…  That got me in my Reagan spot…
    I am NOT a big Perry guy.  He would be OK with me, though, along with a few others.

  • Part of why he dropped out was that he spent all his cash on Iowa, planning on a strong showing winning him some more donors.  A closer 3rd may have helped, but having such a gap was the kill-shot for money-raising…

  • a Republican electorate seemingly craving a charismatic, nonestablishment, rabble-rouser…

    “Rabble-rouser”?  “RABBLE-ROUSER”???

    Jebus, those mother f*ckers aren’t even trying to hide their bias, are they?  O’ course, The Annointed One (as he was then known) was a “community organizer”, and that was a good thing in ’08.

    Billy HollisIf they can establish the narrative that Perry is a rabble-rouser, that Bush is an idiot, that Palin is a dumb snowbilly, that Bachmann is a wild-eye crazy woman, then as far as they are concerned, that becomes the truth. [emphasis original – dj505]

    Exactly.  They describe the GOP candidates in the most scurrilous terms.  Joe Scarborough, a nominal Republican, led the way with his rant about Michelle Bachmann last week.  Ann Coulter put her finger on it years ago: the democrat nominee is automatically a thoughtful, cultured, sensitive, spiritual, educated genius despite his resume (or lack thereof!).  The GOP nominee, on the other hand, is automatically an opinionated, parochial, arrogant, fundamentalist, ignorant buffoon despite his resume.  Hell, the GOP candidates have to spend half their time trying to prove they can walk erect before they can even begin to talk about their platform.