Ramesh thinks Pawlenty is done
The Minnesota congresswoman came in first in the Iowa Republican straw poll, effectively removing former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty from contention in the presidential race.
Sullivan thinks so
T-Paw picked a fight with Bachmann here and she chewed him up and spat him out. Put a fork in his campaign.
Weigel sort of suggests it
But as to Pawlenty: “It’s harder for him. If he wins, he comes out here on fire.” Come in third, though, and he “has to go to his donors” and explain why he’s still viable.
Bernstein at the Plum Line thinks so too
The candidate who had the most on the line at Ames, by far, was Tim Pawlenty. Six months ago, Pawlenty appeared to be on his way to having an excellent chance at the nomination. Since then, virtually nothing has gone right for him.
… there’s every possibility that Ames will kill his candidacy for good. It’s hard to believe that there are a lot of Republicans at this point who want to invest resources in Pawlenty, and without that he might as well pack it in.
Former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty placed third with 2,293, a showing that is likely to raise questions about his ability to continue in the contest.
I call bullshit. 3 reasons why:
1) Bachmann is way more likely to crash and burn than Pawlenty, regardless of her win. She could say something stupid on TV tomorrow morning and screw everything up, who knows. Pawlenty has a record to fall back on, and isn’t prone to saying insane campaign ending things. Bachmann’s win means very little if she fucks it up somehow along the way, and I’m willing to bet she will.
2) It may be true that Pawlenty will never win the nomination, but that was true before the straw poll. I see him coasting along ala Biden for a while and making himself a viable, if not first, choice for VP for both Palin and Perry. In this vein, you could make a case that his candidacy is dead, but it would be as foolish as saying “Now we know! Thaddeus McCotter will probably not win the nomination!”
3) The spotlight will be on Perry and Bachmann for a few weeks, and they seem poised for confrontation. The other candidates, Pawlenty and Romney especially, will likely lay low for a little while and emerge stronger in a few months after Perry and Bachmann beat each other up every day (though it is more than likely that Romney gets dragged into that too). This give Pawlenty a breather and mild internal-campaign rejuvenation (“alright, we didn’t finish in 5th, we’re still alive, let’s get to work on all three early state”).
He ain’t dead yet, but he also never really was alive. He’s Pawlenty the potential VP zombie, and he’ll be alive and crawling for a while.
Drum sort of agrees, but not in the same way, thought he raises (at least I infer it) a good point that the media may just generally be bored by Pawlenty and is saying he is dead just to get him out of the way.
Wait a second. Everyone expected Bachmann to win, and likewise, everyone knows that Ron Paul has a demonstrated (and meaningless) ability to round up his tiny band of fanatical troops for events like this. So third place isn’t too bad for Pawlenty, is it? Or was the “Pawlenty in trouble” media narrative already so set in stone that it didn’t matter how well he did?
(For the record, I think Pawlenty is toast. Still, his showing in Ames wasn’t too bad.)