Pawlenty's Run For VP Continues
by Scott Cox
posted Aug 14 2011 9:16PM
The latest news from the giant reality show that is Iowa politics, is that Tim Pawlenty has dropped out of the race. After a predictably poor start in the Iowa straw poll (itself a terrible indicator of who's going to win the GOP nomination), T-Paw has decided that he had no chance, which is pretty funny considering he already knew that, and so did everyone else.
The truth is, he never intended to win. He was running for vice president.
Of course there's no way to effectively run for that job, so he had to run for prez to get his resume out to the American people. People couldn't figure out why he wouldn't go after Romney in that first debate. Well, this is why: he didn't want to burn a bridge.
The only person he's bad-mouthed at all is Michele Bachmann, because the chances of her picking him as her running mate are zero. Who would go for an all-Minnesota ticket? Nobody. So now he just has to sit back and say great things about whomever he percieves as the front runner. It won't work, of course, because he's so crushingly boring that in today's soundbite campaign environment, he'd pull any ticket down like an anchor.
At least the debates will be livelier without him. Plus, the only exciting thing about preseason politics is watching the also-rans run out of cash and drop out. Looking at you, Rick Santorum.
Pawlenty's early exit was great news for Bachmann, as whatever deep-pocketed donors there are in Minnesota are hers to enjoy. And now that Texas Gonernor Rick Perry is in the race, she'll need all the cash she can get, as the two of them try to out-religious each other for the next few months.
And cash will be the determining factor in this race, as it is in all of them. So whichever one of them raises the most dough will have the best shot at cash-flush Mitt Romney. I don't see any way for Bachmann to keep up with Perry, donor-wise, but I don't think she had any chance in the first place. By the time they all clear South Carolina, we'll have a much clearer picture of where the big money will go. And by then we'll have fewer candidates, and hopefully some better debates. And with the president's approval ratings at an all-time low, all these candidates know the stakes are extremely high.