Pawlenty’s Demise Focuses Crosshairs on Obama

Tim Pawlenty bowed out of the race  on Sunday morning.  He cited a poor showing in Iowa and no clear path forward.  In his exit statements, Pawlenty offered what had been missing from his campaign.  Pawlenty said:

“I’m doing this because I love this country and I want to defeat Barack Obama because I think he’s got it on the wrong course…but I don’t get my identity or my sense of worth or my values or my faith from politics. I get it from my personal faith in God, and I believe in this country, I love this country, I thought I would have been a great president.”

And with that he summed up what he should have been saying all along in this campaign.

Pawlenty's strategy of attacking frontrunners failed to rocket him to the front

Instead, Pawlenty became memorable for coining the term Obamneycare, attacking Michelle Bachmann and Ron Paul for never accomplishing anything, while allowing himself to easily slip into the category of being a copy of another candidate.  Pawlenty was the governor who balanced the budget without increasing taxes beyond a cigarette tax.  But that didn’t separate him from nearly half the other candidates.  In fact, Pawlenty’s biggest differentiation was that he was the sole candidate outside of Ron Paul to go after his GOP rivals in a race that thus far has been mostly focused on Obama and liberal policies.

The loss of Pawlenty and inclusion of Rick Perry will help focus this race more on Obama as each candidate contrasts themselves with him instead of with each other.

Pawlenty was a good candidate with good credentials coming into this race.  However, after his performance in the last Iowa debate I was surprised that he did as well as he did in the Iowa caucus.  Pawlenty is making the right choice by stepping out of this race, and the tone of the race will be better without him.  The key to winning the 2012 GOP primary is becoming more clear.  Candidates need to contrast themselves with Obama and then win on ideas.  In this stage of the game, going after fellow GOP candidates is not yielding much fruit.

5 Responses

  1. Do you guys ever read each other’s articles? A few months ago I got into a back and forth discussion with the author of an article about the previous GOP debate because he claimed it was a boring night demanding that the candidates debate each other and differentiate themselves. I disagreed, not necessarily for the reason you are glad to see Pawlenty go, but because it was (and is) way too early.

    Whitehouse2012 is not happy when the candidates are all nicey nicey and it is not happy when they confront.

    I still stand by my book Campaigning 101 – you don’t go negative early against your primary opponent. It is still very very early. But, it can happen later-in a comparison way. Then certain items can “leak out” as long as it doesn’t look like the info comes from the candidate him/herself.

    Sound manipulative? Oh grow-up!

    • Ruth, do you have the same opinion as everyoine else? Well neither do the writers for White House 2012. It sholuld not be hard to understand that even conservatives can share different opinions and in WH12 they do. If you read about White House 2012 you wil undertand that there are different writers and each one represents their own view. WH12 does not post only my opinion, it posts the opinions of the others writers too. That is why there are different writers.

  2. Fair enough but there continues to be a missing point with both of you- how does a good campaign work? It is more than opinion to say that a good campaign knows to be gracious in the beginning and, with the understated flair of Reagan, outwit and confront your opponent in the last months.

    I, however, give some room to Bachmann. I know first hand what it is like to have a governor of your own state, with whom you have served, run nationally as a conservative when all the true blue conservatives in his home state know darn well he is not true blue at home. (Or true red as the case may be.) It is very frustrating and, regardless if she can win or not, I trust Bachmann that she is one of us, so to speak. It was her chance nationally to tell what/who Pawlenty is/was.

    No one is perfect but she is not a RINO. To stand on stage next to the very man who you watched behind the scenes compromise and then claim some of the victories of the home state conservatives as his own-it is just too much. She made her point and he is out regardless if everyone liked the way she did it.

    • I totally understand the point about about Bachmann and the facing a RINO thing. I ike Bachman, but I must admit that I ack a level of confidence in her. And it is not a woman thing. Whether people like it or not, I was an early Draft Palin for VP activists before many people knew who the heck she was.

      As for the missing point, that may be so, however I believe that I do often discuss the “inside baseball” apsect of campaigning as it relates to what the candidates need to do. I may have left that out in this case but it is a dmaned if you do, damned if you don’t thing. When I do dicuss the inner workings of politics, I am often chastised for being a political hack and molre interested in Party politics than good national policy. In general though I think what Friday wrote about the debate has a degree of truth to it..

  3. Ruth, Kemp is correct. We have several different authors with several different backgrounds. If you look back, I wrote a post about the Neapolitan Republican party and I think you see that represented with this website as well. You have a Jersey Republican, a Libertarian Republican, A seminary student Republican, etc. I think it brings some great perspective, but you can’t take any of it as gospel truth. It is just good information to help you make informed decisions.

    As far as Bachmann, I like her a lot. I like her message, and I like what she stands for. I think she will do well in this race through the first few states. But she has made some key slip ups, and if we fail to recognize that I think we are in danger of making the same mistakes the left made in 2008 when they elected Obama with Biden as a running mate. I’m not saying she is as bad as either of them, but she has made some moves that show she is unpolished, somewhat unprofessional, and could be unprepared.

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