Politico: Pawlenty made one of worst political blunders of 2011

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Tim Pawlenty's ill-fated decision to pin the fortunes of his Presidential bid on the Ames straw poll was one of the top ten political blunders of this year, according to Alexander Burns of Politico.

"Pawlenty advisers now reflect with some frustration that if they had treated the Ames contest for what it is -- a circus-like state party fundraiser -- their guy might still have had a shot at the big time," Burns writes. 


While it was just last spring, it seems like eons have passed since T-Paw looked like a legit contender for the Republican nomination.

On the day he formally launched his campaign in late May, Gerald F. Seib of the Wall Street Journal cited the former Governor's "tea-party-friendly populist economics" and Christian credentials in opining that "the T-Paw moment has arrived."

Along with Donald Trump, Pawlenty was one of the early anybody-but-Romney candidates who got a few news cycles worth of consideration as President Obama's possible 2012 foe. But a perception of blandness coupled with a troubling gaffe in an early debate killed that early momentum.

As spring turned to summer and T-Paw's poll numbers stagnated, his campaign decided to go all-in in Ames and view the straw poll as a referendum on his candidacy. After receiving less than 14 percent of the vote and finishing behind Ron Paul and then anybody-but-Romney flavor-of-the-month candidate Michele Bachmann, Pawlenty called it quits.

But as Mitt Romney continued to struggle to gain traction and Rick Perry and Herman Cain flamed out during their turns as flavor of the month this fall, some, including Pawlenty himself, began to believe his mid-August withdrawal may have been premature.

At an October event unveiling his portrait at the Capitol, the former Governor said "we went for a more dramatic piece of progress in that early Iowa contest, and I think we should have made a different decision."

Pawlenty in 2016? Stranger things have happened -- like Newt Gingrich, once left for political death, dominating the polls in South Carolina and Georgia. So maybe T-Paw will have additional chances to crack Politico's list in future years.

To read the full list, click here.



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19 comments
Anon
Anon

No. He was right to stay out. Look at Huntsman. Another okay guy, but totally smoked by richer people.

T-Prawn
T-Prawn

Well we don't need some spineless idiot who would drop out over getting third in a media-hyped poll as president so I'd say he made a good move.

ronpaul2012
ronpaul2012

Ron Paul is this country's only hope.  The rest of the Republican field and Obama are just more of the same. Bought and paid for by crony corporatism.  Wake up people and take your country back. 

Hambone
Hambone

t paw looks good compared to the clowns and losers the gop are parading around right now.

webcelt
webcelt

Pawlenty got spared the scrutiny other flavors of the month got because his time was early and he didn't get that high. If he had stayed in the race, we'd see he fit in just fine. Maybe we'll get to test that in 2016, and maybe sort in 2014, when I expect he'll challenge Dayton or Franken. I make no prediction which.

vitajex
vitajex

Are you kidding?

"Hee Haw" looks good compared to the clowns and losers the GOP are parading around right now.Hell, I'd vote for Minnie Pearl over ANY of the current contenders.

bloodbath
bloodbath

Perhaps you overlooked Ron Paul, the only true American in all of Washington.

Zeroisanumber
Zeroisanumber

I like how you don't even bother to defend the Ron Paul Newsletter quotes, you just gloss over and then pretend that a man who at the very least sold his name to racist shitbags for money has the good judgement to be president.

bloodbath
bloodbath

Refer to my previous post for most of your rant.

When most use exact quotes, they cite sources if they want to be taken seriously. Two of the quotes are sadly generally true. I haven't researched the validity of the circumstances of the Rodney King quote, and have never seen the MLK qoute whose validity seems dubious.

Perhaps you're ignorant to how the American political system works: RP is one man out of hundreds of representatives. It's pretty hard to be a single rep out of hundreds and pass progressive drug laws when you're the only one who believes in it, right? Especially in his state. Plus he's the outsidest of the outsiders, there's no money in that, that's why he's got so few followers in Wash. The people are beginning to see his ideas are the pro humanitarian ones. Even many of the commentators are praising him. Revolution is furthering.

And how fake or stupid are you that you claim to be a serious supporter of drug reformation yet support Obama over Paul?

Michelle Bachmann
Michelle Bachmann

You are grasping at straws for Ron Paul, its pathetic.   I'll let Ron Paul's own words speak for how racist he is.   The following are quotes from his newsletter:

I think we can safely assume that 95 percent of the black males in that city are semi-criminal or entirely criminal.

We are constantly told that it is evil to be afraid of black men, it is hardly irrational.

Order was only restored in L.A. when it came time for the blacks to pick up their welfare checks.

[MLK] was also a Comsymp, if not an actual party member, and the man who replaced the evil of forced segregation with the evil of forced integration. King, the FBI files show, was not only a world-class adulterer, he also seduced underage girls and boys.... And we are supposed to honor this 'Christian minister' and lying socialist satyr...?"

It's so easy to prove you stupid Ron Paul supporters are liars.   Sounds like MLK wasn't really one of Ron Paul's heroes.   He made money off that racist garbage.  He's a bad person.   That's why his story keeps changing on the newsletters.   You do realize this was an issue before for Ron Paul.   Do you know there are videos and quotes of him defending the racist garbage in his newsletters?    Ron Paul is a racist, he is un fit to be President.   Grow up and deal with it.   This is why 95% of Black people vote for Democrats.   Have you seen what Latinos are doing since Bush got 40% of them in 2000?      Recent polling puts their support at around 23% for either Romney or Perry, lower for all the other candiates.   I'd bet by 2020 that will be another 95-5% situation because of people like you.  

P.S.  Your trolling about the drug war is pathetic.   It's an issue I care deeply about.  Ron Paul does nothing to help end the war on drugs except talk.  He's all hat but no cattle.   He is a life long politician that bitches about the size of government.    He hates big government so much that he has assured himself of getting a government paycheck and healthcare for life while poor people suffer.   How much has government shrunk since Ron Paul has been in office?  How many Republicans has this life long politician won to his cause?    He's just a racist con artist making money off of stupid people while laughing at what idiots his supporters are.  

bloodbath
bloodbath

An adequate response isn't "high brow".

Refer back to my response to fake MB about his consistent support of drug law reformation: If he was such a race hater, why would he want fewer blacks incarcerated and fewer racist social programs in place? The man's actions speak.

Anyway, what if he didn't know his donors represented evil? Even if he did know who they were, even though it isn't pretty, at least he isn't a flip-flopper like the prez or any other candidate. His msg is the same with drugs: he doesn't condone the use, but thinks it's up to the individual to decide. No matter how idiotic one's message is, it is still legal to be heard in the US. There's a great new PAC from him where he stuck up for and delivered a poor "mixed couple's" baby for free in the 70's as well. Google it.

Just so I'm sure I'm hearing you clear: the Federal Reserve/fractional reserve system is a good idea?

Zeroisanumber
Zeroisanumber

I don't have to go highbrow to shoot down a racist piece of shit like Ron Paul. I can point to the $500 he took from Stormfront in 2008, or the picture of him paling around with neo-Nazi leader Don Black (try googling Ron Paul + Don Black, you'll see the picture) or the fact that his 2008 Michigan campaign organizer was an out-and-out swastika armband wearing, brown shirt sporting neo-Nazi.

And even if I granted that Paul isn't a racist, he's still a shitbag who tiptoes around on the far-right political fringe to troll for votes while mouthing just enough "Are Freedoms!!" bullshit to suck in cash from credulous idiots. He's a shrimp-fried moron who's idea of solid economic policy is to destroy the Federal Reserve and put us back on the gold standard. He's a retrograde idiot who thinks that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was a massive abuse of federal power.

He'll also never be president. But keep hoping there, Skippy.

bloodbath
bloodbath

Thank you, zeroisanumber, for simply name calling and castigating instead of coming up with an intelligent and original thought. It's really easy for me when you make yourselves look dumb and I don't have to lift a finger.

Zeroisanumber
Zeroisanumber

Ron Paul is a huckster who's spent years getting rednecks and idiots to send him cash while peddling racist tripe with his friend Lew Rockwell. His strongest supporters populate the fevered swamp over at Stormfront where they talk about how Ron Paul will return true freedom & democracy to America in between rants about Jew bankers and how tough it is to get a job when you have a swastika tattooed on your neck.

bloodbath
bloodbath

Actually, all one has to do is look at his voting record to dispel that notion. He is less racist than your man Obama, as Ron supports drug reformation that would decrease black imprisonment by 36%. Nobody ever talks about how crack is weighted more in the eyes of the law than coke. Obama sure doesn't. He would also cut entitlements that relegate many black people to the bottom rungs of society.

I saw documentation somewhere of a woman who wrote to him to ask him if he actually condoned the letter which he did not write but apparently stamped. She received a heartfelt apology letter back and she forgave the gaffe. If you actually read the letters, half of them he stamped weren't inflammatory, merely accurate observations. If this "scandal" is all the talking heads have on him, he's still the cleanest man or woman in Washington.MLK is one of his heroes as well.

Michelle Bachmann
Michelle Bachmann

Ron Paul was wrong about writing a racist newsletter and making a million bucks off of it.   It shows a stunning lack of judgement and discredits his supporters. The way he lies about the newsletter and the pathetic excuses his followers make show just how not ready for primetime Ron Paul is.    A racist like Ron Paul can't lead a diverse and modern nation like the United States.  

vitajex
vitajex

No, I didn't overlook Ron Paul.  Ron Paul is a broken clock.  He's wrong all the time except for all of two seconds of EVERY day.

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