I really had higher aspirations for this guy.
I feel that Tim Pawlenty has simply picked the wrong year, physically. The era of the Republican Party being dominated by middle-aged to elderly Caucasian gentlemen is coming to a screeching halt. In place of this is more and more women and ethnic minorities to freshen the scene up a bit. It is quite the transformation our party is undergoing, making the stereotypical image of the GOP being solely for “rich white people” more and more obsolete.
That being said, I felt that going into the affair Tim Pawlenty was the guy to beat…Mitt Romney. I just knew that Mike Huckabee was going to run, and between he and T-Paw, Mitt would be left in the dust. Boy was I wrong. Not only did Huckabee not run, but by simply being there and “looking Presidential”, Mitt Romney has scaled the polls and become a clear frontrunner. Still, what does Tim Pawlenty not have? He looks charming and stately, speaks with a passive-aggressive intellectual tone and had a fair resume.
Today paints a stark contrast for his strong opening. Minnesota is in a fiscal bind. Pawlenty managed to write off the crisis, insisting that the numbers given were somehow incomplete and assuring the media that when the fiscal year rounded off, the state would be billions of dollars in surplus. This did not happen. He has also come under fire for cutting public education in his time as Governor. Let’s not forget his uncharacteristically aggressive shots at Mitt Romney. In the first debate he asserted that Mitt Romney’s economic plans simply weren’t the ones we needed. He then appeared on FOX News Sunday and reiterated the phrase “Obamneycare”, saying that the Health Care bill passed by the democrats was little more than a reincarnation of the Health Care bill passed in Massachusetts under Governor Romney. The stage was set for a Wild West gunfight in the Second Debate, when Pawlenty stuttered and sputtered and stood down when directly asked about his statements with Governor Romney present.
The incident can be dismissed on accordance of the impromptu (and rude) nature of the questioning, courtesy of CNN and John King. I still feel that if brought up in more polite timing than an interrupting of opening statements, T-Paw could’ve handled himself better and we might have enjoyed a little exchange. Fact is, he didn’t; what he has done since then is another issues of his. He has used the “Obamneycare” line several times since then, supposedly to appear bold again; but it is not working. Tim Pawlenty now seems like the nagging little kid in school that does not have the guts to stand up to the class President but badmouths him behind his back.
Thing is, I like Tim Pawlenty, though significantly less than I once did. His shortcomings are stacking up on him, and the polls show this. This isn’t to say that he is about to take his ball and go home; hiring Mike Huckabee’s daughter brings him a step closer to reconnecting with the grassroots (and getting an endorsement from The Incredible Huck). T-Paw needs to hurry, though; his numbers slip more and more with each release, and he may soon join former Speaker Gingrich in obscurity.