Wednesday, May 25, 2011

2012 Contender: Tim Pawlenty

Let’s continue our 2012 Contenders series with Tim Pawlenty. Pawlenty’s people want to sell him based on his blue collar background, but that’s rather irrelevant as we’re voting for a leader of our party and our country, not the next guest on Oprah. So let’s ignore that and look at his record, which is surprisingly conservative. . . though it’s not unblemished.

1. Social Conservatism: There is no doubt that Pawlenty, a recent convert from Catholicism to evangelical Christianity, is a social conservative:

Gays: Pawlenty opposes same-sex marriage and civil unions. He wants to reinstate “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” And he attacked Obama for failing to defend the Defense of Marriage Act in the courts.

Abortion: Pawlenty opposed abortion except in cases of rape, incest and to save the mother’s life. He wants Rove v. Wade overturned, and he appointed four judges to the Minnesota Supreme Court who openly disagreed with Roe. As governor, he signed a law in 2003 that required doctors to provide women with information about alternatives to abortion at least 24 hours before the procedure, as well as a detailed list of risks associated with the procedure. In 2005, Pawlenty signed a law requiring that women considering an abortion be given information about “fetal pain.” Sixteen states are now trying to pass similar laws.

Immigration: On immigration, Pawlenty was cracking down on illegals before cracking down was cool. In January 2008, he ordered state law enforcement to work with federal agents to enforce immigration laws. This is what Arizona did later. He also required the Department of Public Safety to review photos in the state’s driver’s license database to look for fraud. And he required new state employees and contractors to verify their citizenship.

Guns: Pawlenty supports the second amendment, though he favors statewide standardized training and background checks before law-abiding citizens can carry firearms.
2. Economics: As you would expect for any governor, Pawlenty’s economic credentials aren’t perfect, but he has achieved some surprisingly conservative things and he’s put up quite a fight to get them.
Deficits: Pawlenty closed a $4.5 billion deficit left behind by the former governor by cutting spending and without increasing taxes. During his second term, he faced a deficit of $2.7 billion, which he eliminated with further spending cuts, shifting payments and $2 billion in stimulus money. The state currently faces a $4.4 billion projected deficit for the next two years. To achieve these deficit cuts, Pawlenty vetoed dozens of Democratic tax hikes and he even forced a nine day shutdown to get his way on the budget.

Taxes: Pawlenty kept his promise not to raise taxes. In fact, he cut taxes by $800 million. The one exception was a hike in cigarette taxes that was part of the deal he reached to end the government shutdown.

Public Sector Unions: Pawlenty took on the unions before that was cool too. In 2005, he took on Minnesota’s mass-transit workers union to cut pension benefits. After a 44 day strike, he won.

Moreover, he seems to “get it.” For example, he notes that public sector unions “contribute mightily to the campaigns of liberal politicians ($91 million in the midterm elections alone) who vote to increase government pay and workers.” This is a good sign. His plan for federal employees is good too. He wants to bring compensation back in line with the private sector, reduce the overall civilian work force, start using private sector accounting practices for pension costs to stop hiding the real cost, and end defined-benefit plans. All excellent ideas.

TARP: Pawlenty spoke favorably of the TARP in 2008, but in 2010 he said that he was speaking as a surrogate for John McCain only at the time and he never actually supported the idea himself.
3. ObamaCare: Pawlenty wants ObamaCare replaced and he issued an executive order forbidding state agencies from applying for new grants under the plan:
“ObamaCare is an intrusion by the federal government into personal health care matters and it’s an explosion of federal spending that does nothing to make health care more affordable. To the fullest extent possible, we need to keep ObamaCare out of Minnesota. This executive order will stop Minnesota’s participation in projects that are laying the groundwork for a federally-controlled healthcare system.”
He also proposes the following healthcare reforms: (1) incentives for patients to be smart consumers by having patients pay less if they choose more cost-efficient health-care providers; (2) pay doctors for performance rather than number of procedures performed (reward quality rather than quantity); (3) liability reform; (4) allow insurance across state lines; (5) make insurance portable; (6) prohibit discrimination against pre-existing conditions; and (7) expand health savings accounts.

This is less than it seems, but these are better than other candidates have suggested and Pawlenty has put in place some test programs along some of these lines in Minnesota.

4. Global Warming: In 2007, Pawlenty declared global warming “one of the most important issues of our time.” He then signed bills to promote clean energy and to impose a cap and trade system. In 2008, he urged Congress to “cap greenhouse-gas pollution now.” In May of this year, Pawlenty said this “was a mistake, and I’m sorry.” His basis for changing his mind is that the human impact on climate change is unproven.

5. Ethanol: Pawlenty stated the other day that we should end ethanol subsidies. This was good. It’s about time conservatives stopped pandering to different interest groups, i.e. Iowa farmers, and instead stood on principle. But in 2005, Pawlenty signed a bill raising the mandated minimum mixture of ethanol in Minnesota gas from 10% to 20% by 2013 and he has lobbied for higher nationwide mandates.

6. Electability: Two issue arise on the issue of electability: dullness and past electoral performance.
Dullness: Pawlenty is not an inspiring speaker. He’s too polite and he lacks the gift for verbal sparring of the kind that has become increasingly necessary. Will this hurt him? That’s not clear. This election will be about Obama and his record, so a quiet candidate may be better able to keep the light on Obama. But, his lack of inspiring rhetoric may keep him from being able to land necessary punches or inspire voters. If Obama were not a disliked incumbent, this would be bad. As it is, this may not be a problem. As an interesting side note, several leftist publications have been concerned that Pawlenty “takes the snarl” out of the rhetoric and makes “extreme right wing policies sound acceptable.”

Electability: One of the issues that should be in Pawlenty’s favor is his ability to get elected in a blue state. Theoretically, that means he has cross-party appeal and can guarantee Minnesota’s 10 electoral votes, which would kill Obama’s re-election changes for sure. But Pawlenty never actually got 50% of the vote because he’s always faced multiple opponents. He was last re-elected by less than 1% (47% to 47%).
All in all, it sounds like Pawlenty is a social and fiscal conservative who is willing to put up a fight to implement conservative policies. More importantly, he seems to understand the issues better than the other candidates at this point. The knock on him is that he appears willing to shift in the political winds, particularly on global warming, and he comes across as extremely dull.



LL said...

Pawlenty has potential based on his values and his demonstrated ability to get elected (in a rather dull State - with apologies). He doesn't have the Allen West sort of Charisma and he hasn't been out there scrapping with anyone. I think that 'plodding' might be his problem.

While it's true that Obama is a narcissistic cretin, he's still good for many Americans when he stands behind his teleprompter. We've elected empty suits before and while Pawlenty isn't one --- he sort of looks like one.

T-Rav said...

Based on what I've seen so far, I gotta say, I'm feeling better about Pawlenty than the other major candidates so far (wait, who are our major candidates again?). I can see why his changing stance on global warming could be described as shifting with the political winds, but his explanation in the debate last month seemed to me sincere and convincing. Besides, if he plays it right, he could spin himself as the "substance over style" candidate: as opposed to a certain Chief Executive.

So maybe I should say: T-Rav for T-Paw?

Tam said...

Although I think social conservativism is important in keeping govt. out of our lives, I am more concerned with the economy and national security in this election. Green initiatives are BAD for both, I think. Personally, I see Pawlenty's personality like returning to my nice quiet, clean home after a weekend in Vegas. I'm done with flash and style. I want plain and simple.

Writer X said...

With Pawlenty, his choice of a running mate will be crucial. He needs to find someone who's inspiring. On paper, Pawlenty looks pretty impressive. Unfortunately his speeches are largely unforgettable.

Writer X said...

Or, forgettable--I should have said.

AndrewPrice said...

LL, I was surprised at Pawlenty's record. He really has done a lot of fighting and racked up a lot of conservative achievements in the process -- in a very blue state. So that's actually very encouraging.

The problem though, as you put your finger on it, is that he does come across as an empty suit. I don't know if people will take the time to look into his past to see that he's much more than he seems? Hopefully, his people will get better at bringing that out in ads and debates.

In fact, I think the debates will be critical. If he comes across as well spoken, sharp and professional, then I have to say he's the front runner. If he comes across as hesitant, then he may have a problem.

Of course, a quiet but successful conservative may be exactly what we need against Obama in this election?

AndrewPrice said...

T_Rav, I have to admit that I feel a LOT better about Pawlenty after doing this research too. I don't like the global warming thing at all. As we discussed the other day, I agree with Joel and Kosh that this is really evidence of "wrong thinking" in terms of giving the government far too much power.... BUT, I like a lot of what else I've seen from him.

I'm particularly surprised that he put up such a fight for economic issues that he was willing to shut down the government and endure a 44 day strike.

Plus, all the right people are upset at him -- like former Republican Governor Carlson who whined that Pawlenty never understood that you need to give in to the Democrats in Minnesota. Well, apparently, you don't.

I'm also encouraged that he used all of the tool at his disposal to make this happen. He even got sued because he exceeded his authority in making cuts (he lost). To me, he's shown a very credible creative streak in that regard.

Also, I'm impressed by two other things. For one thing, he gets it with the unions. He seems to grasp that the problem is that they perpetuate themselves by playing leftist politics. Too many of the others stop at "they get paid too much." Pawlenty gets that the problem is deeper. That impresses me.

And secondly, I'm impressed that his solutions will actually be largely effective. Most of the candidates (Newt in particular -- which surprised me, since he's supposed to be such a deep thinker) offered nothing more than platitudes... "gonna make it cheaper and better." Pawlenty is offering actual workable solutions to health care, the unions and even cutting the budget. This tells me that there is actual substance to his positions.

So color me impressed.

AndrewPrice said...

Tam, LOL! I like the Vegas analogy! :-)

Actually, Lawhawk and I were talking about this the other day. He says that Pawlenty reminds him of Eisenhower because he was the quiet, normal candidate compared to the much flashier and less stable Democrat. I can totally see that. Compared to the wild and unstable Obama, Pawlenty is like a return to normalcy!

Economic policy and national security are the issues that influence me the most too. I only listed social policy first in this case because that is where Pawlenty has put a focus -- he's trying to win over Evangelical Christians in Iowa right now.

In terms of economics, I honestly like what I see. He understands deficits, taxes and unions. His plans for health care reform is good (it's not CommentaramaCare, but it's better than anything I've heard so far from anyone else -- left or right). His plans for public sector unions are excellent. His opposition to taxes is great. I am all around pleased. I'm even more pleased that he's managed to do all of this in a dark blue state.

So he not only has good ideas and decent economic values, but he's got a proven ability to implement those in enemy territory. That's pretty impressive.

He may be an excellent candidate.

AndrewPrice said...

Writer X, That is the problem. If he comes across as forgettable, then he probably can't win the primary. In the general election, I think it depends on how forgettable he is.

This election will be about Obama first and foremost, so his lack of flash will help to keep the focus on that. And Obama's record is horrible and his support is nonexistent. So being the quiet candidate won't kill him. The problem will be if he comes across as meek rather than just quiet and professional. That would be bad. So we'll have to see how he does. I think the debates will be critical for him to show that he's professional and ready.

That said, he really needs to make a splash with his VP choice. A fiery orator would work well. I would actually recommend someone like a Herman Cain. What I would avoid though is a bland white governor.

T-Rav said...

Andrew, I could see someone like Cain or Allen West in a VP slot with Pawlenty. A lot of people have suggested Michelle Bachmann, but that probably won't happen as they're both Minnesotans. Either way, it needs to be someone fiery with a knack for stump speeches--the old "attack dog" sort of thing.

AndrewPrice said...

T_Rav, I agree. I think he needs someone with a fiery style, i.e. very combative. I also think it would help him to have a non-white male on the ticket because he really comes across as "white-bread" bland.

I would think that Cain or West would be good. Niki Haley would be an excellent choice too.

I like the Bachmann idea, except that there's no way they can put two Minnesotans on the ticket.

Ed said...

This is much better than I thought. I like that he shut down their government and that he's appointed solid judges. The first thing to really set me off regarding Bush was when he tried to appoint Harriet Meyers. He did eventually get his appointments right, but he sure got off to a bad start.

Andrew, I get the feeling you see him as the front runner based on your article from the other day?

Also, I like Tam's Vegas point, but as I live in Vegas, we really have nowhere to go home to that isnt' Vegas! Lol!

Tam said...

Okay, Ed...maybe it's like getting off the strip!

I would love to see Allen West on the ticket. He's my new hero. He has said he isn't going to run for pres, but that he won't rule out a VP candidacy. Pleaseohplease...

AndrewPrice said...

Ed, I was pleasantly surprised too. I honestly wasn't expecting this conservative of a record. I figured at best it would be mixed with lots of trade offs -- especially on taxes.

I can't say for sure that he's the front runner, but I would suspect that he will be soon. I think both the religious right and the establishment don't like Romney and they will see him as an acceptable alternative. That's a big chunk of the party. The Tea Party folks seem to be focusing on Herman Cain, but he still lacks enough support (or the organization) to be considered the front runner. Plus, he's splitting his support with Ron Paul.

So my guess is that he will emerge as the front runner in a few weeks. Of course a million things could happen between now and then, but that's my guess at the moment.

AndrewPrice said...

Tam, I've become an Allen West fan too. He would be a great choice!

Ed said...

Tam, Good point! Once you get away from the strip and downtown, Vegas is a lot like any other city, except you can't get away from the slot machines. It's getting really expensive though. It didn't used to be this expensive.

I like West, though I don't know a lot about him yet. Maybe Andrew can profile him for us! :D

Unknown said...

Andrew: You came up with the same conclusions that I did, though my research wasn't as in-depth as yours.

Where others see "dull," I see "staid" and "unassuming." As you and others here have suggested, that might very well be made up for by a fiery running-mate. It remains to be seen just how "dull" he is when he moves on to states that aren't as "dull" as his home state. His ability to think on his feet will serve him well, and could be a big plus in direct debates with Obama.

I also see an issue that others should be prepared for. Pawlenty isn't perfect, but as far as I can see so far, he's "clean." That's going to be an important point in this general election. Obama can't run on his record, so he's going to have to sling mud. Pawlenty doesn't seem to have anything in his background that the Dirtycrats could use against him with any real success.

His "flip-flop" on cap and trade might actually work to his advantage over the long run. He had his "road to Damascus" moment and made a genuine turnaround, but it allows him to state that he is at least willing to listen to legitimate ideas about the environment. Cap and trade is now a non-starter, but what's wrong with cleaner air and more fuel-efficient energy production? One doesn't have to be a green weenie to think those are good things.

I'll take "genuine and dull" over "phony sound and fury" any day in the week, and I think a very large number of Americans would be right there with me.

AndrewPrice said...

Ed, I was thinking about that, as either a continuation of the contender list or a possible VP list.

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, I think the debates will be critical for Pawlenty. Dull is fine so long as he comes across as knowledgable, in control, and professional. If he does that, then I think the dull label won't hurt him -- though I still recommend a fiery running mate. But if he comes across as meek, then he would have problems.

On cap and trade, I am willing to take him on his word that he has genuinely changed. I don't know if he's done enough to convince everyone, but we'll see.

I think you make a good point about him being clean. Obama will need to run away from his record and that means slash and burn. Pawlenty really doesn't have anything in his past that can be used for that.

And what's interesting is that I've seen leftist blogs try to get their people all excited to fight him and they barely get a comment. He's going to be a hard guy for the left to hate.

AndrewPrice said...

P.S. Lawhawk, I'm thinking Pawlenty's nickname shouldn't be "the placebo" but should instead be "the stealth conservative"!

rlaWTX said...

This is very encouraging. I am trying to stay positive about 2012, but it's hard going up against an incumbent - esp. without a solid candidate. Even OHB.

I think you're right about running mate being a crucial choice. But that's not usually put out there till the latter part of the race. I hope that primaries don't grab an "interesting" choice (style over substance) along the way...

rlaWTX said...

hometown politics: Laura Bush is the commencement speaker at Midland Lee this weekend. Apparently, this has started a scalping issue with the limited, free graduation tickets. Kinda funny what grabs people... But I have to admit I'd like to hear her... too bad my cousins aren't 5 years younger ;)

DUQ said...

Andrew, Thanks for doing this series. I didn't know any of this. All I heard was the word "RINO". Now I'm feeling a good deal better about our field.

Unknown said...

Andrew: "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the presidency." Matthew 5:5. Do I have that right?

I really think you were right on the money by saying that he's going to be hard for the left to hate. I think it's more that it's going to be hard for the left to get non-leftists to hate him, but it's the same basic point. It would be laughable to paint a guy like Pawlenty as the one pushing grandma's wheelchair over the cliff a la the recent reprehensible Democrat ad.

Pawlenty seems to have a good command of facts and figures, so we'll have to see if he can pull them out effectively during the heat of debate both in the primary run-ups and the general election if he wins the nomination. I still see his "dullness" as a plus next to the self-righteous, pretentious purple prose that comes out of the mouth of the pompous jackass presently holding the title of president.

The MSM may be thrilled up their legs by Obama's high-falutin' speechifying, but I think the American people aren't going to be fooled easily this time. The thing on their minds is going to be "that sounds great, but what have you actually done?" Pawlenty wins hands-down on that. Let's see if he's able to articulate it.

DUQ said...

Sorry, having issues! I meant to say add that I'd be curious about seeing Allen West, too.

LL said...

We need a Reagan - a communicator, because the quiet, conservative won't bring the party together behind one person and leaves the door open for a Trump style party splitter. (look at the recent NY Race where there were two Republicans who got more collective votes than the Democrat who ran)

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, I'm glad you're encouraged, I am too. And I agree, we need a candidate who is about substance, not someone with great style but no substance. So let's hope the primaries go well. Style is good, but there are many forms of acceptable style... but substance is critical and there's no substitute for it.

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, Laura Bush always has drawn a crowd. I think she's very likable and she's usually given very good speeches... as compared to a certain somebody else who replaced her.

Gak. I can't believe the embarrassment they are causing us in England. Does Obama need to be incompetent about everything?

AndrewPrice said...

You're welcome DUQ. That's all I'd really heard before looking into him and the picture is much more encouraging than that. He's not perfect, no one is, but I certainly wouldn't be worried that we made the wrong choice if he becomes the nominee.

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, I honestly do not see ANY evidence that Obama's gotten any better than he was in 2008. So I expect that he will do really poorly in debates and any candidate who isn't retarded (like McCain apparently was) should mop the floor with him. He knows neither facts, nor logic, nor rhetoric and his grasp of English sans-teleprompter is basic at best. I would think that Pawlenty should be able to crush him.

On the meek thing, there was once a comedian who said, "the meek shall inherit the earth, but will they really want it after the rest of us are through using it?" ;-)

AndrewPrice said...

DUQ, No problem. I'll see what I can do about Allen West.

AndrewPrice said...

LL, That may well be. That's why I think someone like a Pawlenty would need to reach out to a Tea Party favorite like a Herman Cain -- that could conceivably get each faction of the party together.

The problem right now is that we don't have anyone who can unify conservatives as a whole like a Reagan did. And maybe that's just the nature of the business. Reagan didn't unify conservatives until 1984 himself, so maybe it take getting into office before the unifying can begin?

Kosh said...

My wife has discovered with our children that when they are getting loud and out of control instead of yelling over them it is more effective to speak to them in almost in a near whisper. If he develops and articulates his positions well, Pawlenty may come across very effective, especially in contrast to the chaos over the last few years. Seems like he is not afraid to fight for something he beleives in. I remember when the state democratic congress was hoping to push him in a corner with massive spending hikes. He vetod them. They sent another with just the spending hikes hoping he would call a special session to "work out a deal." He vetoed at Midnight of the last day of their session. He then used execuative prevlidge to cut the budget across the board to balance the budget.

Cap and trade issue still worries me and I need to listen to his turn around. Hard to believe someone goes from "one of the most important issues to our time" to "it's no big deal". If he was being fooled he should be angry (as we all should be) at those who are perpetuating this fantasy.

AndrewPrice said...

Kosh, Good points. Some of the strongest leaders in history were "quiet leaders," and yelling and table pounding is often counter-productive or a sign of lack of substance.

I get the feeling that Pawlenty is a fairly strong leader. His budget battles show both that he's willing to fight for conservative ideas, and also that he's willing to use all the tools available to him in that fight. That's a great sign and gives me a fairly high comfort factor with him.

The cap and trade thing does remain troubling. But so long as he shows no hedging in his repudiation, then I could overlook that mistake. I don't think any of the candidates are perfect and at least he's acknowledging his mistake. So as long as he is now sincere that he won't go back on this and he understands why it's wrong, then I think the one mistake is forgivable. At this point, I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.

Even Reagan made mistakes -- like the amnesty thing. I think the key is do they get that this was a mistake and do you believe they aren't just pandering. I don't think he's pandering, though it remains a fair question.

So I will be watching the debates closely to see how he handles that issue off the cuff.

patti said...

I'm so glad to see a new post, as blogger has a "sign-in" issue that is blocking me from signing into my site at the moment.

i like pawlenty, but i do think his lack of POW! power may hinder him. we like our leaders to be able to kick ass, or to at least act like they can. we need him to put some pizazz in that suit of his. it's the sad factof this new pop culture era.

AndrewPrice said...

P.S. Kosh, I draw a line between "meek" and "quiet." Quiet simply means, no fiery rhetoric. Meek means unwilling to stand up and fight. As long as he isn't meek, then I don't think quiet will be a problem.

AndrewPrice said...

Patti, Lawhawk just e-mailed me that he's having the same problem -- that he can't sign in. I guess Blogger is at it again. Grrr.

Fiery rhetoric definitely seems to be becoming more important for leaders these days. But we'll see. I don't see a lot of people in the field right now who have great rhetoric and many of those don't have substance... and the couple who do don't have much in the way of organizations. But there's no doubt that blandness is not a good thing these days.

All in all, this is going to be a really interesting series of debates.

T-Rav said...

Apparently Pawlenty's now going after the Florida crowd, telling seniors in Tampa that the government's going to have to tackle SS and Medicare reform, preferably sooner rather than later. This guy may just win over the base wholeheartedly. Or possibly alienate everyone in the early primary states. I'm not sure yet.

Unknown said...

Patti: As I mentioned to Andrew when we were exchanging e-mails on the subject, Eisenhower was one of the most effective military leaders we've ever had, yet when he spoke six years later as both candidate and President, he was quiet, clipped, and occasionally stuttered. His verbal gaffes were what legend is made of. As compared to the clever, urbane and quick-witted Adlai Stevenson. Eisenhower won the war in Europe, and Stevenson lost the election to Mr. Bland Ike.

I love a good orator who really means what he says, but there's a difference between oratory and bombast, a distinction Obama can't make. A calm, deliberative (and yes, even bland) Republican candidate can show Obama up for what he is--a phony, using words to hide his complete lack of ability.

McCain lost because he lacked both oratory and factual skills, and was wishy-washy on issues that Americans truly care about. Pawlenty (and some others) simply aren't in that category. As I said to Andrew, I think the country is tired of high-tone but meaningless phrases and is ready to vote for what Warren Harding called "a return to normalcy."

Famed orator Edward Everett spoke for two hours at the dedication of the Gettysburg cemetery. Abraham Lincoln spoke for two minutes. Which speech is remembered?

PS: I'm having the same problem with Blogger, so don't feel like you're alone. If I don't do my scheduled post tomorrow morning, you'll know why.

AndrewPrice said...

T_Rav, I think you're right. If I had to put money on it right now, I would say that we're looking at our nominee. He's got the social conservative credentials to get the religious right. He's got the "sanity" credentials to get the establishment. He's got the tone to get the moderates and reassure older voters. And he's got enough economic conservative credentials to swing a lot of fiscal hawks. That's most of the party.

I think his talk about ethanol and social security is an attempt to sway some Tea Party people. If he gets those, there aren't many other voting blocks left.

And besides that, who else are people going to choose? Romney is unpopular with each of the groups above. Huntsman? No way. Cain? Maybe, but he's facing long odds. Bachmann, same as Cain.

Yeah, at the risk of sounding premature, this may be the guy we get?

Euripides said...

I'm liking Pawlenty more and more. His major problems, as I see it, are his questionable ability to raise enough money to have a go at the nomination, and his "sellability" to the RNC. Both the RNC and the DNC are corrupt corporations sorely in need of an overhaul. I doubt whether the RNC will see Pawlenty as a viable candidate to protect their interests.

Remember McCain?

AndrewPrice said...

Euripides, I'm honestly liking him more and more myself. The little bit I heard about him before I looked into him was "dull" and "RINO." Now I'm reassessing and I do like a lot of what I'm seeing -- especially in comparison to the other guys in the field.

On the RNC, I'm not sure what they will do. They wanted Daniels. But now that he's gone, they may shift to Pawlenty because he's quiet. Or they may try Huntsman, which would be a horrible choice -- so I don't put it past them. I honestly can't see them picking Romney because they've been opposed to him for so long.

I think we'll have to wait and see how the Daniels fall out settles. If his backers go to Pawlenty, then he'll easily solve the money issue. If not, then I guess it depends on where they go?

Kosh said...

After listening to Obama speak at the CIA last week, well, not really speak but drone on and on and on, I was thinking what I would really like to see is another Calvin Coolidge.

AndrewPrice said...

T_Rav, That would be refreshing. I'd just like to see somebody who it competent and not ultra-egotistical.

StanH said...

Using your Eisenhower analogy against Stevenson seems to color the picture, however let us not forget, even though Eisenhower was a great military leader with his able lieutenant Omar Bradley, they new they needed as ass kicker and reserved that for George Patton to roll the 3rd Army across the European Continent. I must admit I like Pawlenty, he gave a great interview on Rush the other day, his policies are conservative save the global warming hysteria, my concern? …will he punch and counter punch? To knock the boy king off his perch, will require both brains and brawn, with a steely, conservative resolve that goes without question, and that person wins in a landslide - - you try to be Barry lite, and lose.

Unknown said...

Stan: I think you'd be surprised how many people I've won over with my sweet smile, saccharine speech, and sunny personality. Oh, wait, that was Barney the Dinosaur.

We'll have to see how Pawlenty does if he gets the chance to go mano a mano with Obama. Obama is a passive/aggressive, so any Republican up against him is going to have to be firm, knowledgeable, but somewhat pleasant. He is a master at making criticism seem like a personal attack, with himself as the victim. The iron fist in the velvet glove will completely flummox him. Jabs like "gee, Mr. President, you're far too smart to believe something that ridiculous" will throw him into complete confusion. The only two responses are, "yes, I am that stupid" (not bloody likely), or "it's not ridiculous to believe [fill in the blank)," thus leaving it open for the Republican to demonstrate just how ridiculous the idea really is.

AndrewPrice said...

Stan, That's the question and I think we'll have to wait until the debates to find out. More than any other candidate I can think of in recent years, Pawlenty need to show in the debates that he can hold his own. If he does that, then he could win over a lot of people.

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk and Stan, I'll tell you what, I don't think Obama is that formidable. If McCain hadn't been so utterly horrible, I think Obama would have lost. Ditto Hillary, who completely misunderstood where her party was ideologically.

At this point, even a competent grasp of facts and a reasonable ability to communicate should be enough to make Obama look bad.

The only place Obama can look good is in attack ads, and even with those, he hasn't really shown much ability. This will be the first time Obama really runs against an actual opponent and I think he's in for a rude awakening.

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