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.