AB Stoddard’s column in The Hill looks at Tim Pawlenty and his troubles … concluding with this Zinger-of-the-Day :
Many Republicans now wonder if Pawlenty is, as he described Obama, “timid, slow and too often without a clear understanding of our interests.”
… here are some other highlights :
Pawlenty focused intently on the three kinds of GOP voters critical to the primary coalition, from defense hawks to evangelicals to fiscal conservatives. Yet after working Iowa harder than any other GOP candidate for months now, Pawlenty registered at a dreadful 6 percent in a Des Moines Register poll this past weekend while Bachmann earned nearly four times as much support (22 percent). Other second-tier candidates including Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) and Herman Cain fared better as well. Most painful was former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) beating Pawlenty with 7 percent, considering that Gingrich’s decimated campaign is nothing more than an amusement.
Polls aren’t the only problem. Pawlenty’s key staff are reportedly working for free or next to nothing as the campaign prepares for quarterly fundraising reports that will likely put Romney ahead in the cash chase, with Bachmann just behind him. Pawlenty’s numbers, some expect, could send his backers into a panic.
IMO, Ms. Bachmann is riding the “Trump-wave” … remember when “the Donald” was the Flavor-of-the-day and leading the polls in mid-April. At that time, if you look at the field with Huckabee, Palin, and Trump all out of the mix you end up with a showdown between Romney and Gingrich. Romney gets 25% to 23% for Gingrich, 13% for Paul, 10% for Pawlenty, 8% for Bachmann, and 4% for Barbour.
So, with Gingrich faltering and Romney staying roughly where he is, does it indicate that a large group of Republicans really are searching for a candidate … and Pawlenty just doesn’t inspire them … he’s fading.
That said, who would you bet on to make the next big blunder ? Romney, Bachmann or Pawlenty ?
As such, Pawlenty is still my “soon-to-be-President” choice … with the one caveat, if Rick Perry gets in, the field changes entirely … the Republican nomination is fluid.
The great question asked is : Who are the 7% that are still supporting Gingrich and how soft is their support ? Will those poll-respondents actually go to a neighbor’s house on a cold February evening and caucus for Gingrich or quickly switch to Pawlenty (or Bachmann) ?