Tim Pawlenty Ends His Presidential Campaign

Bookmark and Share    Before the vote was in on the Iowa Republican Presidential Straw Poll yesterday, White House 2012 put up a poll that asked readers who will drop out of the presidential race due to a poor showing in the poll.  I never expected to get an answer to that question so soon but shortly after former Minnesota Governor Tim Palwenty finished third, he decided to close up shop.  And while I did not expect it, only 11% of those polled by WH12 did anticipate Pawlenty’s withdrawal from the race.

Shortly after disclosing his plans in a private conference call with  ABC’s “This Week” from Iowa  Pawlenty explained “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  trailed the straw poll winner, Michele Bachmann, by 2,530 votes or nearly 15%.

In the end, the decision was essentially based upon what he had so far put into the campaign and what he has gotten in return.  Given Pawlenty’s perfectly managed campaign (although his ads were a bit too dramatic) and campaign organization, his aggressive and constant campaigning, the infinitesimal amount of time he dedicated to the campaign, and the money he already spent, it was clear to Pawlenty and his more than competent campaign team, that they just were not getting enough traction.  It was impossible for Pawlenty to do much more than he did, yet he still was registering support only in the single and lower double digits.

In Iowa, alone, Pawlenty invested plenty of money and put together the type of organization that is required to pull out the straw poll voters needed for a win to be possible.  In the end, his third place showing after his first place effort was apparently enough to convince T-Paw that he couldn’t work any harder than he already was working in order to do any better than he did.

Such a decision does not come easy.   After putting as much of yourself into something as much as Tim Pawlenty and his family did, it is hard to let go.  But  it was the fact that Pawlenty did give his all and knew it which allowed him to come to a conclusion earlier  than most candidates do.  Pawlenty’s decision was a sign of man who his a realist and unafraid to deny reality.  Ultimately the former Governor may have garnered some delegates here or there but it was apparent to him that the cost and effort that he would have needed to invest in order to lose with as few as 10 or 20 delegates, was not rational.

This conclusion was probably also due in part to the sixth place showing of Texas Governor Rick Perry in the straw poll. 

Perry who was not even an official candidate at the time that voting began, and has not campaigned a day anywhere, pulled 718 write in votes.  That was only an additional sign that another well-financed and popular candidate in the race was only going to make the mountain Pawlenty was climbing even more difficult.

Pawlenty was a very credible candidate.  In another time he probably would have been considered a frontrunner.  But in this day and of age of polarized politics, the ideological divide is becoming so wide that the most motivated of voters who are seeking change, just did not find Tim Pawlenty extreme enough or as forceful enough as the times require.  He was a victim of populist anger.  No matter what though, it can’t be said that Pawlenty didn’t run a first class campaign.  And it also can’t be said that he didn’t give us the opportunity to take advantage of his leadership.  The same can not be said for others like Mitch Daniels or Haley Barbour who were not willing to make the sacrifices that Tim Pawlenty was willing make and already did make.

As for the remaining field, the effect of Pawlenty’s withdrawal will probably benefit Mitt Romney the most, while making to little to no difference to Bachmann, who like Pawlenty is from  Minnesota.

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New Pawlenty Ad Can Win An Oscar But I’m Not Sure it Will Win Any Votes

Bookmark and Share    Tim Pawlenty’s latest ad picks up on what has become a trend of late…….using President Barack Obama’s own words against him. Clearly, the G.O.P. is now comfortable with trying to make this election a referendum on President Obama and his record. And why not.  It speaks for itself. 

Pawlenty’s new ad essentially mimics one that Mitt Romney  put out last week. It uses the same Obama line about his presidency being a one term proposition of he fails to get the economy back on track. But this ad also splices together multiple quotes from various news reports pertaining to the poor economy and puts it to a melodramatic, operatic musical background that is more fitting for an intense action scene dramatic from some goth-like  motion picture than ad discussing the economy.

The message is strong. We said so when Romney presented the same one last week,  but the production value takes away from the message.

Pawlenty’s ads seem to get carried away with a production value that is reminiscent of trailers for a high budget, blockbuster movie, with an all-star cast. They are designed to catch the attention of a society that has become accustomed to the badda-bing, badda-boom, flash driven, imagery that dominates commercial television. But it is getting to a point where the production of Pawlenty’s ads are surpassing his message. And while the message that President Obama has so far failed as President is a potent one, the drama elicited in Palwnety’s ads is so overdramatic that it begins to make one wonder if it is a serious political ad or a comedic parody.

Now if you really want to see a memorable video check out, ‘Na na na na, Hey  Hey Hey Goodbye Democrats’

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Pawlenty Pummels Romney With “Obamneycare” in Republican Debate Preview

Bookmark and Share    As previously pointed out in detail by WH12, Mitt Romney is the biggest target that will be on the stage in tonight’s Republican presidential debate. The most recent evidence of that fact comes from former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty who is so eager to hit the bull’s-eye that he has already begun taking some early practice shots at Governor Romney.

As seen in the video below, during an interview on Fox News Sunday with host Chris Wallace, Pawlenty launched what is for Romney, a MOAB (Mother of All Bombs), a memorable hit on Romney’s Achilles heal……Romneycare. In describing Governor Romney’s Massachusetts healthcare plan as the model for President Obama’s national healthcare plan, commonly referred to as  Obamacare, Pawlenty called it Obamneycare. Pawlenty’s ability to coin a one word phrase that negatively links Mitt Romney to President Obama in such a memorable way, is a stroke of political genius that will prove to be a particularly potent strategic weapon as the Republican race for President moves forward.

Not only does the word help to move Romney’s thinking closer to President Obama’s thinking in the eyes of voters, it also provides Pawlenty with a perfect short and snappy soundbite that requires no explanation and continues to put Mitt Romney on the defensive and in the awkward position of having to spend valuable time trying to explain away. While Pawlenty need only to say the word “Obamneycare” to make his point, Romney has to exhaust time and spend money on using many words to defend himself against Obamneycare. While Tim Pawlenty’s campaign could now make money selling anti-Romney shirts emblazoned with the word “ObamneyCare” on them, Mitt Romney has to spend money on ads and mailings to explain Obamneycare away.

During the rest of the interview, host Chris Wallace afforded Pawlenty many opportunities to take more shots at Mitt Romney on an array of issues. But Governor Pawlenty resisted and instead maintained his focus on Obamneycare, adding,

“President Obama said that he designed Obamacare after Romneycare and basically made it Obamneycare… What I don’t understand is that they both continue to defend it.”

The one thing I do find questionable here though is Tim Pawlenty’s strategic decision to release his useful verbal weapon a day before tonight’s CNN/WMUR-TV/ Manchester Union Leader debate in New Hampshire. The newly created word was certainly laid on the desks of Mitt Romney’s talented team of experienced strategists, consultants, media mavens, and assorted opinion makers. This gives them more than 24 hours to come up with a creative response to any use of Pawlenty’s new verbal assault weapon during the debate. The question is, is Romney and his team talented and creative enough to come up with a rebuttal to “Obamneycare” that takes 15 seconds or less to articulate and sting Pawlenty with to boot?

No matter how Romney prepares to address Pawlenty’s new tool in an old line of attack against Romney, the seat that Mitt is in is only going to get hotter when the five other candidates on the stage tonight, follow Pawlenty’s lead and go for Romney’s jugular.

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Pawlenty Proposes Obama Go to “Econmic Rehab” and Lays Out His Own Recovery Plan

Bookmark and Share   In a perfectly timed speech, former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty capitalized on the irrefutable evidence and increasingly undeniable sentiment that President Obama is mishandling the American economy.

Appearing at The University of Chicago’s Harris School, a location that’s just a few steps away from the University that President Obama and his soon to depart chief economic adviser Austan Goolsbee taught at, Pawlenty became the first candidate in the 2012 Republican presidential field to actually act like a candidate for President as he laid out his plans to revive the U.S. economy. He began his almost 45 minute appearance which included questions and answers, by slamming the President and claiming that President Obama needs to enter “economic rehab”.

“President Obama is satisfied with a second-rate American economy, produced by his third-rate policies. I’m not” said Pawlenty

From there Pawlenty presented a Reagan-like, limited government approach to our economic woes that included proposals to eliminate the U.S. Postal Service, Amtrak, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

The former two term Governor’s plan also calls for what he called a “simpler, fairer and flatter tax code” that would eliminate capital gains, estate, and dividends taxes, and include only two tax rates. One of 10% and the other of 25%. Individuals earning up to $50,000 or a joint income up to $100,000, would pay 10% while those with incomes above that would be taxed at 25%. Under Pawlenty’s plan, those who currently do not pay any income tax, will continue to not pay any.

Other aspects of Pawlenty’s economic reforms were actually quite bold for a politician seeking support from voters. He proposed expanding presidential powers. That is a move that many limited government, TEA movement activists may initially view as a power grab that is antithetical to their cause. But Pawlenty’s proposed expansion of presidential power is a request to have Congress give the executive branch emergency powers only to freeze spending.  According to Pawlenty, “If they won’t do it [freeze spending] — I will,”. The Governor also declared his supports for the creation of a Medicaid block grant program that would cap the amount of money states receive for the health benefits for the elderly, and much to his credit, he courageously endorsed raising the retirement age of Social Security recipients.

That last point is something which few politicians who want to win an election are brave enough to propose, but for many people, the fact that he did endorse such a move, demonstrated that maybe Tim Pawlenty is one of those few political leaders who will actually say what needs to be said and do what needs to be done. Isn’t that part of the reason why many are still clamoring for Chris Christie to jump in to the Republican presidential contest? The consideration of raising the age of SSI recipients is always a controversial one. However, it is nonetheless an unmistakably necessary move in light of the need to keep that program solvent, the need to get entitlements under control, and the increasing life expectancy rate of society.

The scheduling of Pawlenty’s speech, be it through good strategic instinct and timing or just plain luck, was impeccable. It came on a day when the news of President Obama’s mishandling of the economy was unavoidable. Facts, figures and polls all presented themselves today in a way that even the lamestream media could not avoid turning in to headlines. A new Washington Post/ABC news poll that found that by a margin of 59 to 40 percent, Americans disapprove of the President’s handling of the economy, the President’s Chief economic adviser announced he is resigning, and if the news wasn’t grim enough, a new study of businesses found that once Obamacare kicks in, 1 in 3 businesses will stop offering health benefits. So much for the President’s promise that under Obamacare, you will be permitted…. “permitted”….. to keep your current health insurance plan. The perfect timing of Pawlenty’s speech came at an optimum moment to exploit all these findings.

The speech Pawlenty gave and proposal he offered were in many different ways promising. While it could have easily gone much further with such proposals as a total flat tax that would offer one rate for one nation, and for other measures such as a balanced budget amendment, the plan was solid and a total reversal from the failed Keynesian path the President has put us on. It had much to offer not just for the fiscal conservative base of the Party that Pawlenty desperately needs to win over, but for the important limited government independent voters as well.  As for the delivery of the speech, it proved that Pawlenty can articulate his vision for the nation, and that he is capable of taking the bull by the horn and leading. So far, on the issue of the economy, he is the first 2012 candidate to provide such leadership.

All in all, today was a good day for Tim Pawlenty. Unlike the announcement of Rick Santorum’s presidential candidacy from the day before, Pawlenty had the fortune of not being stepped on by the breaking news of a scandal, like Weinergate and the conditions were right for his message to resonate. Most of all, today Pawlenty took his first real step towards going from being the candidate to support if your first choice doesn’t run, to being someone who could be considered a first choice in his own right. He was poised, presidential, confident, and seemed to have a command of the issue. And on another positive note, Pawlenty managed to weave into his presentation, an important theme that continues to point out the sense that President Obama is out of touch with both the American people and the purpose of government In America.

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Hoopla Pits Piers Against Pawlenty

Bookmark and Share In an interview with CNNs Piers Morgan, Tim Pawlenty was asked if in a hypothetical situationwould he run as Donald Trumps Vice President if asked. Palwenty laughed and let slip the phrase“I’m running for president.” Not to be on the number tow spot.

Morgan than jumped on the words and asked if he was correct in in taking his words to be an announcement indicating that Pawlenty is fact running for President. To which the Governor stated “I’ve got an exploratory committee up and running and we’ll have a final or full announcement on that in the coming weeks,” said Pawlenty, who formed an exploratory committee last month. “It won’t be too much longer. But everything is headed in that direction.”

The 9 pm interview was taped earlier in the day and whan the taping was done, CNN and Morgan promoted the segment that was to be aired later in the evening, as one in which Pawlenty makes his presidential campaign official. Unhappy with these promos, and of preview clips off where the Governor states he is running, the Pawlenty camp asked that future promos contain the rest of the dialogue where the Governor clarified his position. But that request fell on deaf ears.

Now we all know this matters only to Tim Palwenty and his campaign. We all know he is running and he knows that we all know he is running. But the issue here is a legal one. Once a campaign moves from the exploratory stage to that of an official presidential candidacy the legal rules change and a new game is played. For that reason, the Pawlenty camp would have preferred that CNN played this straight and not try to makes something out of nothing. In this case, it was not worth it for CNN to intentionally imply what Pawlenty denied. Instead of creating a headline for much needed ratings, what they actually did was make the Pawlenty campaign a little less likely to answer question from CNN or accept future one on one discussions with them,

CNN should remember that while the candidates we scrutinize must undoubtedly prove their sincerity and honesty, so does the media. Especially the mainstream media which has had a hard time trying to prove that they do not operate and act on their own liberal biases instead of o their own journalistic code of honor and integrity.

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Tim Pawlenty Gets Plenty With New Campaign Manager Nick Ayers

Bookmark and Share Today was a good day for Tim Palwenty. The former Minnesota Governor started it by posting “Excited to announce that Nick will lead our team as campaign manager”, on his Facebook page. The decision and ability to get Nick Ayers on Pawlenty’s team is certainly one to be excited about.

At 29, Nick Ayers is already an experienced hand in Republican politics. And he has experience with success too. At age 19 after several years as an active leader within the ranks of Young Republicans, Ayers found himself leaving Kennesaw State University to help elect Sonny Perdue, Governor of Georgia. A few years later, after Perdue won that election and became the first Republican of Georgia since Reconstruction, Ayers was named Perdue’s 2004 campaign manager and by the time reelection rolled around Ayers managed Perdue’s campaign to a 20-point margin of victory.

By 2007, Governor Perdue began serving a one year term as Chairman of the Republican Governors Association and he designated Nick to as the Executive Director. There, Ayers revamped the organization by implementing a long term strategy for the organization. That long term strategy help Republicans go from 22 Governors when he stepped in in 2007, to 29 by 2011.

Early on in 2011, Ayers was briefly discussed as a potential candidate for Chairman of the Republican National Committee but he declined the opportunity to run and was instead appointed to head up the RNC transition team that helped change the hands of leadership from Mike Steele to Reince Priebus.

Now Ayers finds himself managing Tim Pawlenty’s soon to be presidential campaign.

While Ayers’ experience, connections and talent are certainly remarkable assets to any campaign, one of the most interesting things he brings with him is a working familiarity of Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour. Barbour will be a formidable opponent in the 2012 Republican nomination contest. As a former successful R.N.C. Chairman, Barbour’s reach is extensive. He is owed many favors, knows where the bodies are buried and has the ability to raise more money than even President Obama. These connections were only enhanced by his recent stint as Chairman of the Republican Governors Association, where Nick Ayers was serving and working with and for Barbour.

Now I can’t say how closely the two worked together and I have no idea as to whether or not Barbour and Ayers developed a personal friendship during those days. But I can attest to the fact that in politics, no matter how close you get to someone personally, just by working with them you get a good sense of their instincts. And such a sense of Haley Barbour’s political instincts will be quite helpful to Tim Pawlenty in the days to come.

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Drunk and Disorderly. Two Things Tim Pawlenty Did Not Need

Bookmark and Share On his Facebook page, 24 year old Ben Foster proudly proclaims himself to be a “political opererative” living in Johnson, Iowa. He is actually a paid staffer on the exploratory committee behind Tim Pawlentys presidential campaign. Last year he became the first full time paid staffer of any potential presidential campaign, but this week he was found drunk and trying to enter the back door of a home in Ankeny, Iowa.

Early Wednesday, 15 year old Chloe Steward was at home and upon investigating what was making her dog bark, she found an arm in the back door and the person it belonged to was trying to get in her family’s home. Chloe ran to her Mom and Dads room screaming. Her father picked up his gun, ran to the door and found Foster still trying to get in. A call to 911 by Mrs. Steward brought the police to their home and after vomiting in their backyard, young Mr. Foster was arrested for public intoxication and trespassing.

After bail of $600 was posted, Foster was released from Polk County Jail and later he released the following statement;

I made a very serious mistake. I take full responsibility for my actions. I want to apologize to all affected by my poor judgment. I especially apologize to the people who were disturbed during the incident and the arresting officers. I give my word that it will never happen again.

As for Tim Pawlenty, his exploratory committee issued the following comments;

Pawlenty is extremely disappointed in Bens actions and his behavior does not meet the standards he expects of his employees, .

The campaign has also placed Foster on a two-week unpaid suspension.

While this is not something that any campaign needs at any time, its a good thing Ben Foster learned his lesson now and not later in the campaign when the nation is more focused on each and every nuance involving the presidential campaign. As for Tim Pawlenty himself, the fact that Ben Foster is only on a two week unpaid suspension says a lot. For one thing, it says that hes a pretty understanding guy who believes in second chances. Then again White House 2012 is trying to ascertain whether or not young Master Ben is maybe a nephew, that Tim Pawlenty’s sister asked if he could help out? But no matter what, you can bet that if Ben Foster has so much as a shot of beer, the term suspension will be used in regards to what he gets hanged with.

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