This is really, in context, not a very important story at all. But I’ve done so much blogging about former Minnesota governor and GOP presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty, over the years, that I feel some sort of compulsion to type out a few thoughts on today’s (Thursday’s) news.
One thing we know about Tim Pawlenty: He is not afraid to quit! Today, the Financial Services Roundtable, Wall Street’s deepest pocketed and most influential lobbying organization, announced that Pawlenty is leaving Romney’s campaign to become its new leader, replacing longtime head Steve Bartlett. See ya later, Romney!
Twitter greeted the news with a million-and-one variations of rats-vacating-sinking-ships metaphors, but Pawlenty’s move is meaningful for much more than what it signals about the state of Romney’s foundering campaign. Think of it this way: As a consolation prize for not being nominated as president, Pawlenty gets a $2 million-a-year job defending a lobbying group whose fingerprints are all over the great financial crash crime scene. What more do we need to know about the corrupt state of modern American politics? Pawlenty could have been president – instead, his job will now be to dismantle and obstruct financial sector legislation.
I’m not sure where his new bosses got the idea of Pawlenty being some sort of charismatic, get-things-done kind of guy. His governorship was all about blocking, not accomplishing. And there’s a very off-putting, repellent smugness about the man, that seems to have worsened with time. But, he will have plenty of other people’s money to turn to odious purposes. Right up his alley. More below the fold.
It occurred to me that Timmy’s exit from Willard’s campaign may not have been entirely voluntary; there’s presumably plenty of infighting and CYA assigning of blame going on among the troops. I mean, the guy was national co-chair. But I’ve seen nothing whatsoever to back that up. Plenty of Romney’s minions are likely grateful at somebody setting the precedent, as they work the phones and computers for better opportunities – anything at all – themselves.
The abandonment does reinforce the opinion of many, including me, that many of Romney’s own people don’t have any particular loyalty, and for that matter don’t even especially like the guy, any more than a great many voters do. What’s to like? Dull, self-absorbed, conceited, phony, no sense of humor…Mitt Romney’s about two things, money and power, and so are the people around him. Doesn’t make for a whole lot of team spirit, when things aren’t looking good.
From Minnesota’s perspective, this is potentially the part that matters.
“With this new position, Governor Pawlenty is taking off the table running for U.S. Senate or governor in 2014,” McClung said in an email. Pawlenty himself did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.
I gotta admit that I’m not embracing that one with wholehearted belief. It’s certainly true that Minnesotans are happy to see TBag gone, and don’t want him back. But he loves power, and I think that he feels very uncomfortable at the possibility of his political legacy being ultimately defined by his going out as a serious loser. But I can hope.