The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Tim Pawlenty Quits!

Posted on | August 14, 2011 | 20 Comments

NEWTON, Iowa
I was sitting here at breakfast with Ladd Ehlinger just an hour ago when he said, “Pawlenty’s quitting!”

Tim Pawlenty told supporters on a conference call Sunday morning that he is ending his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination after a disappointing third-place finish at the Iowa straw poll.
Mr. Pawlenty thanked his supporters in an early-morning call, two participants said, but acknowledged that he had decided overnight that his candidacy could not proceed.

That was quick, wasn’t it? I landed in Des Moines on Aug. 3 and, eleven days later, Pawlenty quits the race. Some people will say this is merely a coincidence.

Perhaps it was the “neo-Confederate sex panic.” Perhaps it was those rumors that Pawlenty was behind those vicious smears against Michelle Bachmann. And, of course, perhaps the sudden implosion of the T-Paw candidacy had nothing to do with anything I did.

Plausible deniability. “No fingerprints,” IYKWIMAITYD.

Let’s face it though: Any Republican praised by David Brooks is pretty much doomed.

By the way, you may be wondering why I’m having breakfast with Ladd Ehlinger. He was up here in Iowa pitching his work to  certain potential clients, and no he’s driving back to Alabama. He’s going to have a passenger — me.

It’s a long story. But it’s going to take a whole lot of explaining to make my wife understand my unexpected Alabama detour with the world’s most notorious political filmmaker. Hit the freaking tip jar!





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Comments

  • Charlesmartel41

    I won’t miss Tpaw.  Too much of a RINO for me.  I will admit, though, that he looks more “presidential” than any of the others save Romney.  But, unfortunately for him, he has all the charisma of one of my dining room chairs.  He lacks both the “killer inctinct” and “fire in the belly.”

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  • http://twitter.com/AmPowerBlog Donald Douglas
  • The Wondering Jew

    He got scared of Rick Perry’s shadow.  Too bad– I liked the guy from my one encounter with him.

    Agree about the “killer instinct” and “fire in the belly”– and I’d add he clearly is too much establishment and is paying way too much attention to media narratives.  No serious candidate should ever drop out before real voters have had their say in an actual primary or caucus.    I think his chance was still as good as anyone out there.   He was “acceptable” to more people than anyone else out there. Bachmann and Perry could still easily blow up, which would have left him as a very strong alternative to Romney.  Just very bad political judgment on his part.

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  • http://www.redstateeclectic.typepad.com AngelaTC

    Yes, Pawlenty didn’t finish strong in the Straw Poll, he’s out of money, and Perry’s state has created 37% of the country’s new jobs in the past 26 months.   At this point, the race is Perry’s to lose.

  • http://www.leftbankofthecharles.com Charles

    Third place was high enough to keep going. Tim clearly planned to use a poor showing at Ames as his excuse to drop out. Spending all his money in Iowa this summer was just part of that plan. He failed in his goal to drag Michele Bachmann down with him, but that torch has passed to Rick Perry,

  • Anonymous

    Tim Pawlenty squandered a million dollars for the sole purpose of failing so he could knock Bachmann out of the race? You know if he dropped out without squandering a million dollars he’s allowed to keep it.

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  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/EU5DQWQTTHTPO4A4ZYSL3AAV2U Adjoran

    A poor third in the one state he has well-organized wouldn’t keep the money flowing.  When you go all in on a hand, you must win or go home.

    I think the turning point for Pawlenty, at least the point from which he could never recover, was from the earlier debate when he backed away from his tough stance against “ORomneyCare” – the GOP electorate isn’t looking for civility, they are looking for aggression this cycle.  Romney’s established name recognition and business credentials gives him a bit more latitude on that score, so long as he is tough on Obama.

    Bachmann’s entire appeal is her unabashed and unapologetic attitude.  She has no relevant experience and has not been an effective legislator – she claims to have “led by opposing” bad bills, but when?  Which bills did she successfully lead opposition against?

    Perry will be the more conservative alternative to Romney, and he has the resume to carry into the general election, too.  All the rest are in it for either ego, to sell books, or to set up a future run for something.

  • http://thepagantemple.blogspot.com/ ThePaganTemple

    Adjoran, the point isn’t whether or not she was successful, its that she’s been a loud voice in rallying the opposition to Obama’s and the Democrats onerous policies. That counts for something. Just imagine if the strongest voice against them was Mitch McConnell, or even Boehner, for that matter. Hell you can add most of the Tea Party caucus to that list. How many people would rally behind Jim DeMint? Paul Ryan? Rand Paul? Sure they would have their strong corps of supporters but none of these people stand out like Bachmann. It wasn’t on a whim that Pelosi had her as her number one target for defeat in the House.

  • http://thecampofthesaints.org Bob Belvedere

    If Sarah Palin gets in the race, I hope Mrs. Bachmann will drop out and do what I’ve been advocating she and Alan West and a few others should have been doing this Summer: STAGE THE DAMN COUP!  Throw Boehner and his Establishment minions out.  She’d be a crackerjack Speaker Og The House.

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  • Anonymous

    Down with the McClellan Republicans!

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  • http://thepagantemple.blogspot.com/ ThePaganTemple

    That would be fine if the Tea Party was a majority of the Republican caucus, but I don’t think they are. They need to concentrate on building toward becoming the majority. Then it wouldn’t be a coup.

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