Sunday, August 14, 2011

Pawlenty drops out

The Ames Straw Poll claims its first victim.

From Politico

AMES, Iowa - After spending much of his money to finish a distant third in the Ames Straw Poll, Tim Pawlenty ended his presidential bid Sunday.

“We needed to get some lift to continue on and have a pathway forward and that didn’t happen, so I’m announcing on your show that I’m ending my campaign for president,” the former governor said on “This Week.”

I think the biggest thing that hurt him is one of the most unfortunate reasons. People find him boring. That really should have no effect at all in a political race. Policy gets boring, but it's important. I've always been more of a behind the scenes person and a process/policy person instead of the one who tries to get in front of the camera. Pawlenty hints at the boring part here.

“What I brought forward, I thought, was a rational, established, credible, strong record of results, based on experience governing - a two-term governor of a blue state,” said Pawlenty. “But I think the audience, so to speak, was looking for something different.”

This guy won a state which is very difficult to win. Twice. Once in a very bad year. However, as I've been told by many "He doesn't have a chance. He's boring." I think this is Bill Clinton's biggest influence on the GOP. Many Republicans are afraid of a candidate who is viewed as boring because they think they will come out as "Bob Dole" in 96, losing to a dynamic speaker. Here's a newsflash. Unless you come out with the ghost of Reagan - and there's only one Reagan Republican - you're not going to out speech Obama and his teleprompter in style. I don't like Obama's style at all, but I'm not the person you're trying to convince either in a general election. Personally, I'd run against Obama's charisma and contrast style vs substance. He's the Peter Principle in Chief.

Now who gets that 13%? Pawlenty was running hard against Bachmann. I don't think most of his support will get going there. I think Perry is the one that's going to most benefit from this. Pawlenty was the gubernatorial alternative to Romney. Perry stepped into that role as soon as he jumped in. Pawlenty's quote outside of the blue state - "What I brought forward, I thought, was a rational, established, credible, strong record of results, based on experience governing" can fit to Perry as well. Perry's been governor 10 years. Perry's state isn't blue at all, but it is extremely diverse. Texas is a minority-majority state. Perry's biggest issue nationally may be George W Bush being his precedessor. Whether that works to an advantage or disadvantage or no effect in both the primary and general remains to be seen. Perry's his own guy, though. It's been almost 11 years since Bush was in the governor's mansion in Texas. Bush left after 6 years. Perry would have 10 years if he won.

Romney and Huntsman are the other governors. They obviously aren't hurt by Pawlenty's drop, but I think Romney's already viewed as the quasi-frontrunner. I think the question will be if Romney can hang on through the primaries. We'll see.


Downtown Brown said...

I agree that Romney is the front runner. I think we shall learn a lot more about Perry in the next few weeks. But like every "one we've been waiting for" he might rise and fall pretty quick. If Michelle stays in the race it'll be her and Perry running at each other and Romney in the lead slightly on the sidelines. Huntsman should get out now before he embarrasses himself. it's not his year..and he's bringing nothing to the race. Bachmann will not win the race. So Perry has to take out Bachmann in the Iowa Caucus to compete in South Carolina. Romney wins NH and MI, and Nevada..and the showdown state is Florida. Where Romney will be the lead guy in the prior races. Can Perry beat him there as a Southerner? IDK Florida isn't a typical "southern" state.

Republican Michigander said...

Irony about Huntsman is that I think he's the most electable candidate in the general if he plays his cards right by running on competence - Utah's doing much better than most of the other states. I have my issues with Huntsman, especially with global warming and the auto industry, but I think if it's Huntsman v Obama, Huntsman wins. Big. Huntsman has the RINO tag, but he has been consistent on life and 2nd Amendment issues.

Romney's a very weak frontrunner considering his advantages. His organization is top notch. He has millions to spend. He was the establishment guy in 08. If he wasn't a chameleon who changed his stance so often, this would be a lot like 2000 when Bush was going to be the guy period. Romney can't close the deal. He was supposed to be the guy in 08, not McCain who was strongly disliked among much of the establishment and grassroots activists outside of veterans. (I didn't vote for either in the primary.)

Perry may be the compromise choice. He's not nearly as conservative as Bachmann, and has had Texas conservatives grumbling for years, but is the most experienced guy running without the Romneycare tag. He didn't survive for 10 years as a governor without knowing how to campaign with both 2-way races and strong 3rd party challengers. Political parties don't usually keep governorships for 20 years straight, no matter which state. Massachusetts, New York, and Maryland recently had GOP governors. Wyoming, Montana, and Alaska elected democrats.

The main question though is if Perry is Fred Thompson. Thompson was popular because he wasn't "Rudy McRomneyabee" and he was famous. He was set up with the best speaking gig at the Mackinac Conference (despite Romney's influence with MIGOP leadership then) and by all accounts laid an egg. It wasn't a north/south thing either. Huckabee has some significant support here for a guy that didn't strongly contest Michigan (Romney birthplace, McCain 2000)

It's going to be interesting at the rest of the fallout, and who drops out and endorses others. I haven't made my decision yet, and probably won't at least until the Mackinac conference.