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With an overnight change of heart, Tim Pawlenty becomes the first to leave GOP presidential race
MinnPost ^ | August 14, 2011 | Doug Grow

Posted on 08/14/2011 11:23:34 AM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet

Somewhere between 6 p.m. Saturday and his morning announcement of the end of his presidential campaign, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty must have had a very sobering conversation.

Pawlenty had been trying to find a silver lining in his third-place finish, far behind Michele Bachmann and Ron Paul, in Saturday's Iowa straw poll.

His first comment — a very brief congratulatory tweet: "Congrats to Rep. Bachmann on win. Our campaign needed to show progress and we did. I'm eager for the campaign ahead."

That was followed by an e-mail message to his supporters.

"As I said all along we needed to show progress to do well and we did just that," Pawlenty wrote. "This is a long process to restore America, but we are just beginning and I'm eager for the campaign."

A morning announcement

Then came the announcement this morning.

"We need to get some lift to continue on and have a pathway forward,'' he said on ABC's "This Week."

"That didn't happening, so I'm announcing this morning on your show that I'm going to be ending my campaign for president."

Just like that, it's over.

Did Pawlenty reach this decision on his own? Or, did one of the old pros he'd surrounded himself with let him know that there was no chance, given that the competitors are only going to get stronger and that the money needs are going to get far greater?

Or did the family, as a unit, decide, "Enough"?

On one level, it was obvious in Ames that Pawlenty and some of those closest to him were preparing for a disappointing straw poll.

After Thursday night's debate, Nick Ayers, a spokesman for the campaign, had reminded reporters that the campaign of John McCain, the eventual Republican presidential nominee in 2010, had been declared dead.

"His campaign imploded," Ayers said. "No staff, no money everybody counted him out."

Pawlenty would keep going, Ayers had said, no matter the results of the straw poll.

Talk of marathon and long view

Lou Hutchinson, a Pawlenty friend and supporter who had come to Ames from Denver to lend a hand, also had talked about the long view.

"I honestly believe these things are marathons," said Hutchinson, before the straw poll voting had ended. "It's good that Tim's run a marathon. He knows how hard and long it can be. But he'll hang in there, and we're committed to hanging in there with him."

Pawlenty did throw everything into Iowa, including, on Saturday, his family. Mary Pawlenty was urging people to vote for her husband. The couple's two daughters, who seldom were seen in public events when Pawlenty was governor, were out there, too.

The straw poll showing was bad, but still it's surprising that Pawlenty decided so quickly to toss in the towel.

Hanging in there has been part of the Pawlenty political profile. As is the case of any successful politician, he's had a heavy dose of luck in the past, too.

Some of his friends had believed that resiliency would pay off for Pawlenty in the end.

Although he's taken no formal position on any of the Republican candidates, Minnesota Republican Party Chair Tony Sutton had said days before the straw poll that the results shouldn't be taken too seriously.

"Let the process play out," Sutton had said.

Let it play out because a window might open.

For a few weeks, there will be a sudden embracing of Rick Perry by many Republicans, although it's hard to know how long that will last.

Mitt Romney wears on many of the party faithful. They've seen the act before. There's also some resentment of his silver-spoon background.

Jim McGee, a retired Iowan who was wearing a Pawlenty green T-shirt at the straw poll, explained one of the reasons he liked the Minnesotan.

"They always say you get the best politicians money can buy," said McGee. "Well, Romney's got the money. I like it that Pawlenty doesn't come from that sort of background."

Waiting for an opening

So again, the long-term strategy would have been to run, out of necessity, a low-cost campaign and hang in to see if Perry would flame out and Romney would just seem like another Republican retread, a little like Bob Dole or John McCain. If those things happened, Pawlenty would be ready to step forward, the Sam's Club Republican.

In a speech at the straw poll, Pawlenty had pleaded with the crowd to think about November 2012. He could be electable was his implied message, while candidates such as Bachmann and Paul would not.

"We need not just preach to the choir," Pawlenty said in his speech. "But we have to have candidates who can get the message across [to a broad spectrum of Americans)."

This straw poll crowd wasn't interested in such pragmatic political chat.

With every fiber of his being, Pawlenty must have wanted to stay in the race.

Since at least the last two years of his second term as governor, Pawlenty has had his eyes on the White House. Some say that he's believed he could be president from the day he first won a Minnesota legislative seat in 1992.

Presumably, by dropping out so quickly, Pawlenty could be in a position to be the running mate of a candidate such as Romney or Perry. That was a role he coveted in the McCain campaign — and failed to get because of a newcomer, Sarah Palin.

Pawlenty, though, today made the traditional statement that he was not interested in the vice presidency.

Now, his presidential bid has been stopped by Bachmann and Paul.

Mainline Republicans, including some close supporters of Pawlenty, bemoan the clout of the Palin-Bachmann-Paul wing of the party.

On the other hand, Republican pols, including Pawlenty, tried to court that portion of the party, rather than broaden the base. In the end, though, that powerful group opted for other choices than Pawlenty.

TOPICS: Iowa; Minnesota; Campaign News; Parties
KEYWORDS: bachmann; palin; pawlenty; ronpaul
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To: political1
Cain is on most people's list because he is the only candidate offering real solutions to serious issues. Those who realize this election is vitally important to our children's future value that about him.

Hoepfully people are starting to finally wake up to this "politics as sport" mentality in the US Political/Media class is a large part of the reason we are currently in such a mess as a Nation.

21 posted on 08/14/2011 12:45:07 PM PDT by MNJohnnie (Giving politicians more tax money is like giving addicts free drugs to cure their addiction)
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To: tennmountainman

I agree with you, and there is no way I would ever vote for Newt. But I must say that I was cheering for Gingrich when he smacked down Wallace over that stupid question regarding the resignation of Gingrich’s campaign staff members. And Wallace looked like an even bigger fool when he tried to claim that such a question was about Gingrich’s “record”.

22 posted on 08/14/2011 12:50:14 PM PDT by Bigg Red (Palin in 2012)
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To: Bigg Red

Well, why shouldn’t they?

23 posted on 08/14/2011 12:50:27 PM PDT by Freedom4US
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To: political1; 2ndDivisionVet
The blue is for those officially in the race. The red is for those I will never vote for. However, I never accounted for those who are in both categories. Let me try again:

Michele Bachmann
Haley Barbour
John Bolton
Herman Cain
Mitch Daniels
Newt Gingrich
Rudy Giuliani
Mike Huckabee
Jon Huntsman Jr.
Gary Johnson
Fred Karger
Thad McCotter
Roy Moore
Sarah Palin
Ron Paul
Tim Pawlenty
George Pataki
James "Rick" Perry
Buddy Roemer
Willard "Mitt" Romney
Rick Santorum
Donald Trump

To make 2ndDiv feel better I added Fred Karger. If I get banned it's all his fault.

24 posted on 08/14/2011 12:58:55 PM PDT by Pan_Yan
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To: Sola Veritas
but Paul is a Libertarian not a Republican.

Seems like he has been elected an awful lot as a Republican...

25 posted on 08/14/2011 1:10:52 PM PDT by Prokopton
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To: hellbender

Buh bye TPaw. Miss ya.

26 posted on 08/14/2011 1:14:29 PM PDT by Georgia Girl 2 (The only purpose of a pistol is to fight your way back to the rifle you should never have dropped.)
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To: Freedom4US

Because it is but one group of people. Why should they get to decide for the rest of the voters in the country?

27 posted on 08/14/2011 1:27:14 PM PDT by Bigg Red (Palin in 2012)
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To: hellbender

A number of observers have noticed the poor correlation between the straw poll and the nomination. I am surprised he is giving up so easily.

I was trying to figure out who might have dropped out sooner:
Gary Hart: May 8, 1987
Howard Baker: March 2, 1987
He hadn’t actually announced but in accepting White House Chief of Staff he said he would not be seeking the nomination.

28 posted on 08/14/2011 1:37:13 PM PDT by scrabblehack
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To: scrabblehack
Hart had a little problem on the Monkey Business that wouldn't go away IIRC. The idea of a philandering Democrat in the Oval Office was just too preposterous. Before the Sinkmeister came along, that is.
29 posted on 08/14/2011 1:47:10 PM PDT by Billthedrill
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To: Bigg Red

Well that’s not really an answer. What one group of people do you want?

30 posted on 08/14/2011 1:54:04 PM PDT by Freedom4US
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

santorum should get lost too.

31 posted on 08/14/2011 2:11:46 PM PDT by ken21 (ruling class dem + rino progressives -- destroying america for 150 years.)
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To: Freedom4US

What? Of course, it is an answer. My point is that here we have one small group of people deciding for the rest of the Republican party all over the country which candidates will continue in the race.

32 posted on 08/14/2011 5:08:57 PM PDT by Bigg Red (Palin in 2012)
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To: Bigg Red

No, it’s really not. What small group do you want to decide?

I agree, it’s a flawed system, and the media likes to choose the candidates, and neither party likes a “populist”. Basically it doesn’t seem to matter what candidate ultimately wins, America loses.

33 posted on 08/14/2011 5:23:05 PM PDT by Freedom4US
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To: Bigg Red

The early States have way too much influence.

34 posted on 08/14/2011 6:02:53 PM PDT by fortheDeclaration (When the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn (Pr.29:2))
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To: Prokopton; All

“Seems like he has been elected an awful lot as a Republican...”

So??? A whole bunch of people are in Washington elected to the Senate and House that are Republican in name only. Paul IS NOT a Republican...he is a Libertarain and has run so in the past for POTUS. While most conservative Republicans have a “liberatarian” (little “l”) streak they are NOT big “L” Libertarians like Paul. He doesn’t merit the title Republican anymore that leftest like Snow of Maine does.

Most big “L” Libertarians like Paul are borderline anarchists and would best be called “Libertines.”

35 posted on 08/14/2011 6:17:42 PM PDT by Sola Veritas (Trying to speak truth - not always with the best grammar or spelling)
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To: Sola Veritas

I once went to a local Libertarian meeting during the Carter years. My concern was trimming the size of government. The only strong concern expressed by the others at the meeting was their preference for legalizing marijuana which I couldn’t have cared less about. I was college age but working in a family business so my options were limited and there were a few cute pot head girls there... So I made the mistake of giving them my name and address. Soon afterwards I found a sweet little Baptist girl to date. But for years I received mail trying to get money for legalizing marijuana. I don’t know what the mail man thought of all the pot leafed correspondence I received.

36 posted on 08/14/2011 7:37:16 PM PDT by fireman15 (Check your facts before making ignorant statements.)
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