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.