Skip to comments.Is debating one’s record in a Presidential primary an unfair attack? (Bachmann vs. Pawlenty)
Posted on 07/13/2011 8:45:01 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
Yesterday, my blog partner Tina Korbe scolded Tim Pawlenty for making an argument that Michele Bachmann didnt have executive experience or a record of Congressional accomplishment in her three terms in Washington as a comparison to his own experience as a governor in Minnesota. Even though Tina says that Bachmanns record in Congress is admittedly a little thin, she writes that Pawlenty looked thin-skinned for pointing it out. My friend John Hinderaker wrote last night at Power Line that while he thinks that Pawlenty would make a better President than Bachmann, but that he crossed a line by pointing out why:
It is easy to sympathize with Pawlentys dilemma. I have supported both candidates campaigns financially and consider them both friends, but my own view is that Pawlenty would make a better president. (Either would be a hundred times better than Barack Obama.)
Still, he is in a difficult situation, and did not improve it by going on the offense against his fellow Minnesotan. It is a fine line, sometimes, between touting ones own credentials and denigrating those of a competitor, but Pawlenty crossed it. Unfortunately, most Iowa voters takeaway will be that Pawlenty is desperate because of his failure to gain ground in the polls. He will be well advised not to repeat his attack on Bachmann.
Holy buckets, as we say here in Minnesota! Just what awful thing did Pawlenty say about Bachmann that crossed a line? John and Tina offer the same quote, which John casts as taking the gloves off:
Well, I like Congresswoman Bachmann. Ive campaigned for her. I respect her, but her record of accomplishment in Congress is non-existent. Its non-existent, Pawlenty told NBCs Meet the Press.
Were not looking for folks who just have speech capabilities, were looking for people who can lead a large enterprise in a public setting and drive it to conclusion, Pawlenty said, touting his own experience as a two-term governor of Minnesota.
Pardon me, but this seems like exactly the kind of criticism most of us launched at Barack Obama in 2007 and 2008, and which we wished John McCain would have more often launched at Obama during the general election campaign.
John says he likes and respects both candidates, as do I, and both of us know the two Minnesota candidates a little. I also get that Republican primary candidates should save their most passionate critical salvos for Obama. However, in a primary, the candidates have to campaign against each other, too and experience and records of accomplishment have to be fair game, especially as close as most of the candidates are on policy (with a couple of exceptions). Experience matters, and one of Pawlentys strengths is his executive experience.
Republicans want to make the case in 2012 that Obama is incompetent thanks in part to a lack of previous executive experience and any track record of accomplishment in the Senate. That case will be hard to make if Republicans nominate someone from the House with no executive experience and no track record of Congressional accomplishment. Thats as true of Bachmann as it is of Thad McCotter and Ron Paul (and Herman Cain, for that matter), but those candidates arent threatening to win the Ames straw poll next month, which is why Pawlenty compared his experience to Bachmanns.
Frankly, this is exactly what is supposed to happen in primaries contrasting experience and track records, arguing over policy, and eventually nominating the most effective candidate for the general election. Bachmann needs to have an answer for this valid criticism and she did provide one. The supporters of individual candidates (and the candidates themselves) have to get used to taking some heat in a primary campaign, because if they cant handle it now, theyll fold when it comes to a general election.
Pawlenty may be a good Governor, he may have a decent record and be a nice guy, but he is about as exciting as watching paint dry, and that will not beat the Yes We Can Kenyan.
Pawlenty was too weal kneed to attack Romneycare in the debate. He was afraid to attack Romneycare, but is not afraid to attack a woman.
Pawleny is a wuss.
Ignoring experience of a candidate got us the current occupant of the White House; I’d prefer to avoid that again - from either the left OR right.
As boring as Pawlenty comes across, and he is real boring, he is twice as exciting as that dynamo Huntsman. I watched part of his speech announcing his candidacy and had to check my pulse to see if I had expired.
I remember long ago how the media said debating Geraldine Ferraro was a no-win situation for a man. If he wins, he bullied a woman and if he loses, he lost to one.
I wonder if that thinking still stands in a debate between the Communist Muslim in Chief vs. Palin/Bachmann.
Like all things liberal/MSM, there are 2 sets of rules - one for commie libs and one for conservatives. The spin IF Obama beat Palin or Bachmann at a debate would be they were just too weak to share the stage. Conservative women need not apply with this “no win” trap.
Dirty rotten evil scumsuckers.
Pawlenty has revealed himself as a puny, thin-skinned twerp who saves his best shots for women and conservatives. Did far more to damage himself than Bachmann, IMO. Probably managed to lower his own poll numbers a couple points with that little tantrum.
Unfair attack? Maybe not. Sour grapes? You bet.
Abraham Lincoln had no “executive” experience and he did a pretty good job as President.
Chester A. Arthur was a TAX COLLECTOR prior to becoming Vice President and something like seven months later became President upon the assassination of James Garfield. By all accounts he also did a damn fine job. Barack 0bama also had zero experience as an executive prior to becoming President and jut look at what a fine job he is doing. On second thought, maybe Pawlenty should not have brought up the subject of Mrs Bachmann's lack of executive experience.
The Bachmanns will never be president.
Under Michelle’s submission via her covenant, which one would take the oath of office?
If that's all you're looking for then you're saying Obama was well-qualified to be president in 2008.
We need someone who has executive experience and accomplishments to scrutinize. Bachmann has accomplished nothing since coming to the House.
We don't dare send someone to the White House who will just cast easy 'no' votes.
We need someone who can get things done because following Obama will be an enormous undertaking. There's no evidence she can rally her own caucus, let alone her own party to a cause.
As a leader, her record is all "sound and fury signifying nothing."
As bland as Pawlenty is, he is right to warn people on the right not to make the Obama mistake.
Reagan’s 11th commandment should apply. Tell us what you are proposing to do instead of bashing your opponents.
So that's what got Obama elected?
To a large degree, yes, I think so.
1. For the Democrats/left, he was a blank slate - no record of much of anything in the past means he could "be" anything you wanted him to be. The second coming of JFK's charisma with FDR's profligate spending and Stalin's belief in redistribution - what was there to say otherwise?
2. For the GOP/right, he was a blank slate - what could you really attack them man for? What staunch position had he defended for a while? What long-term ideology had he shown in his legislative background?
Combining the two you have a man who's distinct lack of record - coupled with personal Charisma and cheerleading from the media - who became whatever supporters wanted, and an ethereal ghost for opponents.
Remember, this is a man whom even Hillary! Clinton couldn't defeat because he had no background - there was nothing to attack other than generalities. There was no weakness in his armor BECAUSE there was no armor to begin with. How do you attack the air?
Now, President Obama has built - reluctantly as well, as shown by his actions in attempting to simply golf and travel and avoid governing - a series of positions and exposed his beliefs so he can be attacked and contested. What partly enabled his election last time will NOT work for him this time.