Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Pawlenty and the Field

An interesting take on Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty's chances for the Republican nomination given his use of the Sam's Club brand. I shop at Target and occasionally Wal-Mart if it's handy. When my kids were little I did the Sam's Club run but now go for smaller portions of everything.

Well, while Pawlenty hasn't dazzled I think it's early days. Let's see how things look after the November election. His quiet, pleasant competence may wear well, especially during debates, should he choose to run. As far as the others mentioned I'd say Mitt Romney is handicapped by his Massachusetts template for ObamaCare, though the Dems there cluttered it up he signed it.

Ron Paul is appealing as a libertarian, but his national security stance is loony and will never propel him to the nomination. Mike Huckabee's assumed Christian Leader mantle won him a finite number of states and will play much less well with the Tea Party's fiscal priorities. He was known as tax hike Mike back in Arkansas before he had a conservative conversion to run for president last time.

Romney may well make a comeback given his stellar know-how on the economy, while Sarah Palin is in touch with America and frames the issues of the day exceptionally well. So who else? I'd say the Minnesota governor is in good company with his conservative Indiana counterpart Mitch Daniels, another quiet but effective executive. There's Rep. Mike Pence, the standing O machine, and perhaps Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin--articulate and substantive challengers of the Obama spin, but they're real dark horses for now.

The Mississippi River basin states are swing states--where the presidency may well be won or lost--and Pawlenty would be a favorite son.

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