If Romney Fades and Palin Implodes – Pawlenty?

By Bryce McNitt Tim Pawlenty rolled out the “Pawlenty Seven”, a list of national Republican 2010 candidates, this evening during his first “Facebook Town Hall” event.   They are:  Tim Burns in Pennsylvania’s 12th district, Bob Dold in Illinois’s 10th, Sean Duffy in Wisconsin’s 7th, Charles Djou in Hawaii’s 1st, Pat Meehan in Pennsylvania’s 7th and, on the Senate side, former Rep. Pat Toomey (Pa.) and Gov. John Hoeven (N.D.).

Pawlenty remarked that these candidates shared his “common sense approach to governing” and that together they would work to stop the out of control spending in Washington.  Interestingly none of these candidates are incumbents, a likely move, as Chris Cillizza noted earlier today, “aimed at reinforcing his outsider status within the party.”

Perhaps most notable on this list is Pat Toomey, who largely can be credited with Sen. Arlen Specter’s jump across party lines last year, due to speculation that he could not defeat the more conservative Mr. Toomey in the 2010 primary.  Toomey’s challenge cost the GOP a crucial Senate seat in 2010, one that could have been used in the GOP’s all out fight against healthcare.  Should Toomey fail in his bid against Specter the entire enterprise would be a resounding defeat for the GOP.

After endorsing his seven candidates, Pawlenty took questions from the audience, establishing positions on a variety of issues including healthcare, national security, immigration, budgeting, and past GOP failures.

He struck familiar notes on these issues, repeating his charge that the GOP has been guilty of “hypocrisy” and been spending like Democrats, and have only themselves to blame for failures in 2006 and 2008.

On national security, Pawlenty ripped Obama for reneging on the U.S.’s missile defense initiatives in Poland and the Czech Republic, remarking that this was “troubling to our allies.”  He charged the president with being “overly concerned with being popular” and suggested Obama should be “more focused on being respected” and make America’s safety the first order of business.  He went on to add that the administration is unwisely expending resources on providing KSM with a civilian trial, when those resources could be devoted to stopping those who are plotting attacks.

To solve budgeting problems, a familiar topic for Pawlenty, he endorsed the use of Zero Based Budgeting – a tool that analyzes each government spending program from the ground up, (the norm is to mostly evaluate the margins) and Sunset Legislation, which puts expirations on laws, forcing their re-evaluation during renewal.

Perhaps what is most notable about Pawlenty’s “townhall” is his impressive show of technological savvy.  He has proven himself as an effective fundraiser, raising $1.3 million in the last three months of 2009.  Tonight, he unveiled a widget on his Facebook page that allows users to easily donate to candidates he has endorsed, a “one-stop-shop” of sorts.  Pawlenty’s impressive ability to raise money could win him many allies within the party in 2010, which could set him up for significantly bigger national exposure in 2011.

While his name recognition and status has not budged much with his early 2010 media forays, his political fortunes may be improving because of the withering of the GOP field.  If Romney cannot credibly dissociate himself from Obamacare he could face a terrible backlash in the lead-up to 2012, and Sarah Palin has further reduced her chances of a credible bid with her new reality TV venture.  Perhaps the combination of savvy fundraising techniques and simple inertia will be the force leading Pawlenty forward in 2010.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. cancangirl
    Apr 09, 2010 @ 12:44:00

    General Patreaus is being pushed by UK:
    David Petraeus for President: Run General, run – Telegraph
    General David Petraeus tipped as Republican 2012 presidential …

    Reply

  2. cancangirl
    Apr 09, 2010 @ 12:46:00

    Savage does not like Palin as well:
    Michael Savage- Sarah Palin Unelectable, African Muslims Sue
    She cannot be president after this MONSTER gets through screwing our world up.

    Reply

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