The Washington Post is reporting that former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty is ending his quest for the Republican nomination for President of the United States. The Post reports that Pawlenty told supporters in an early-morning conference call, “We cannot envision a path forward to victory and so therefore we made a decision to end the campaign.”
Pawlenty’s strategy was heavily focused on winning the Iowa Caucuses, and thus doing well in the Republican Party of Iowa’s Straw Poll in Ames. As such, Pawlenty hired scads of Iowa politicos to work for his campaign and his Iowa consultants were veterans on many caucus campaigns.
It was estimated that Pawlenty spent over a million dollars for the straw poll. His campaign had all of the trappings of a frontrunner’s campaign except one – actual support. Pawlenty was nice, people liked him, and his plans on entitlement reform were well thought-out as was his economic plan, yet he couldn’t motivate people to support him or his ideas.
While the media was fixated on the Bachmann vs. Pawlenty battle, a largely absent Mitt Romney was the candidate who Pawlenty couldn’t beat. Pawlenty never could peel off enough of Romney supporters for his own campaign. Pawlenty’s exit from the race now opens the door wide for Romney to reengage in Iowa.
Pawlenty’s exit also further opens the door for Texas Governor Rick Perry. Even though Perry and Bachmann have similar appeal to Tea Party activists and social conservatives, Perry is perceived as the more establishment candidate, which should appeal to those who supported Pawlenty.
Pawlenty’s exit also means that there are a bunch of political staffers wondering where their next paycheck will come from. In a state that already has a small pool of available political staffers, the 15 or so Iowa staffers may not be out of work long.
Photo by Dave Davidson, Prezography.com
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