Thursday, August 04, 2011

Tim Pawlenty's wife's qualified enthusiasm for his chances

More news on the Tim Pawlenty presidential campaign "death watch," and this one is just plain funny.

It seems that poor Tim can't even catch a break from his own wife. CNN reports recent comments by Mary Pawlenty that she was "cautiously optimistic" about her husband's chances and that: 

He needs to move from where he's been and show significant progress, but I'm reasonably confident we're going to see that good progress.

Ouch. When the best your own wife can do is say that she is "reasonably confident" that your campaign won't flatline in the near future, that's not good.

The comments were made with the Ames Straw Poll in Iowa in mind, which is a key event in the Republican presidential nomination race calendar that takes place on August 13th.

There was a time when Pawlenty was hoping for a big showing in Iowa. It now seems that he's simply hoping not to embarrass himself. Judging from the relative lack of enthusiasm from Mary, what do we think the chances are that Tim will show "good progress" any time soon and, more to the point, how long do we think it will be before he decides to pack it in?

Hard to say.

And, by the way, here's another little piece. The New York Times reports that:

Al Hubbard, a former Bush administration official who two months ago became a top policy advisor to Tim Pawlenty, has stepped down from Mr. Pawlenty's presidential campaign.

When he came on board in June after a close ally, Gov. Mitch Daniels of Indiana, decided not to get in the race, it was considered a big coup in the competition among GOP candidates to recruit people with connections to W's network of donors.

Not surprisingly, the Pawlenty campaign suggests we not read anything into his departure, stating that Mr. Hubbard "became busy with work and is not operating in a policy role."

Or maybe the stench of defeat coming from the Palwenty campaign drove him away.

It could be that.

But to hedge my bets just a little, T-Paw is putting in a huge effort to do well in Ames and knows as well as anyone that a poor showing would be disastrous, as much as his campaign is trying to play down expectations, apparently with the help of his wife.

(Cross-posted at Lippmann's Ghost.)

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