He was on the vice presidential short list in 2008. He was the first Republican to announce his candidacy for 2012. He has compiled a tight, well-oiled campaign machine filled with some of the most talented campaign officials out there. And, yet, Tim Pawlenty just cannot seem to gain traction.
He has tried focusing his opposition on other Republican primary contenders, famously going after Rep. Michelle Bachmann for everything from her lack of executive experience to her migraine headaches. And he has been out strongly against the Obama administration since getting passed over by John McCain for the No. 2 spot in 2008, his criticism reaching its current peak all the way back at CPAC, where he delivered a fantastic speech.
Nothing seems to work, though. A Fox News poll of likely GOP voters released at 6:00 p.m. Wednesday showed that Pawlenty gained only two (2) percent of the vote — tied with Jon Huntsman and Rick Santorum … and one percentage point behind Mike Huckabee, who received three (3) percent in write-in votes.
I honestly feel bad for the guy. I don’t like how he once stood with regard to Cap & Trade, and I have questions about how he ran and left Minnesota financially, but he has been strong in debates and seems to have a fantastic knack at articulating conservative principles. His effort and ability, combined with a talented campaign staff, should have him in much better footing.
Perhaps this very effective campaign video, described by my friend Duane Lester over at All American Blogger as “one of the best ads … seen in this primary,” will help things along. I agree with Duane — the ad is fantastic. See for yourself, as this edition of Assigned Reading is really more “assigned watching”: