Pawlenty flooding the zone in New Hampshire

posted at 2:40 pm on September 22, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Of all the won’t-say 2012 contenders, Tim Pawlenty has been the least concerned with plausible deniability.  He organized his Freedom First PAC under his eponymous domain name, and has been among the most active in fundraising and contributions to Republican candidates.  CNN reports that his latest effort has gone to 30 races in New Hampshire at all levels of government, which sends a very clear message:

Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s increasing his support of Republican candidates running in November’s midterm elections.

The possible 2012 GOP presidential hopeful announced Tuesday that his political action committee, Freedom First PAC, is endorsing 30 candidates in New Hampshire, from the statewide to the local level. The PAC is also contributing approximately $18,000 total to the candidates’ campaigns.

“Voters around the country know government spending is out of control,” said Pawlenty in a statement. “This fall, New Hampshire voters will send a message that we’ve had enough. Each of these candidates will fight to hold the line on taxes and cut spending – I’m proud to endorse them.”

As reported earlier Tuesday, the PAC officially announced that Pawlenty will team up with John Stephen, New Hampshire’s GOP gubernatorial nominee, at a campaign event in the Granite state on September 30.

Pawlenty has already spent considerable time in Iowa, building his organization in the first caucus state of the nomination process.  By getting into the deeper levels of New Hampshire politics and helping Republicans get elected, Pawlenty can build a base of loyal supporters in the second state as well.  It’s not exactly a surprise strategy, but Pawlenty appears to be ahead of the curve at least in the Granite State.

Assuming the obvious and Pawlenty runs for the presidency in 2012, we will know almost immediately in the cycle how well he can do.  Investing this much money and attention should result in a win in one of the states when the cycle gets going.  If he doesn’t get a big win or near-win in either, then his candidacy in that cycle won’t survive the first two states.  It’s worth pointing out, though, that Pawlenty is a young man, under 50 at the moment, and this kind of organization will last as long as he wants.  If 2012 doesn’t work out for Pawlenty, 2016 might if Obama gets re-elected, or 2020 otherwise.


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2016 might if Obama gets re-elected,

Bite your tongue!

ButterflyDragon on September 22, 2010 at 2:45 PM

get on out there and scuff some elbows TPaw.

ted c on September 22, 2010 at 2:46 PM

Not a bad strategy. Palin and Huck will be peeling votes from one another in Iowa and SC. Could be interesting.

Bradky on September 22, 2010 at 2:46 PM

I’m waiting for the first ..3..2..1..:)

Dire Straits on September 22, 2010 at 2:48 PM

Its Huck v Palin and Romney v Pawlenty at the moment

swamp_yankee on September 22, 2010 at 2:49 PM

If Pawlenty won New Hampshire, wouldn’t that spell big trouble for Mittens? Palin seems to be a heavy favorite right now in South Carolina, and either she or Huck would presumably win Iowa. If Mittens goes 0-for-3 in the first 3 primaries, he’s toast.

Doughboy on September 22, 2010 at 2:49 PM

I don’t agree w/ him on everything, but he seems likeable. Just don’t see him generating much enthusiasm w/ the base.

Not a bad strategy. Palin and Huck will be peeling votes from one another in Iowa and SC. Could be interesting.

Bradky on September 22, 2010 at 2:46 PM

Sorry, but if anything he’d bleed more votes from Romney.

davek70 on September 22, 2010 at 2:51 PM

Doughboy on September 22, 2010 at 2:49 PM

And if Huck and Palin negate each other Pawlenty could sneak in for the win ala McCain.

Bradky on September 22, 2010 at 2:51 PM

Does the Tea Party Express back him? I didn’t think so.

upinak on September 22, 2010 at 2:53 PM

Huck isn’t running, IMO. Palin’s latest actions have likely sent a message to Huck…stick with your day job.

takeamericabackin10 on September 22, 2010 at 2:55 PM

I’d take Pawlenty over Huck or Romney any day of the week.

Caiwyn on September 22, 2010 at 2:56 PM

He’ll be the Tommy Thompson of the 2012 cycle.

TimTebowSavesAmerica on September 22, 2010 at 2:56 PM

Pawlenty can be a good conservative when he needs to be, but it’s not his natural inclination.

If Pawlenty gets elected to national office Al Gore’s global warming and Cap & Trade will have a large spot at the table for which you will pay dearly.

RJL on September 22, 2010 at 2:57 PM

Just curious…what do the Huckabee supporters on Hot Air think…is he running?

takeamericabackin10 on September 22, 2010 at 2:57 PM

Palin’s latest actions have likely sent a message to Huck…stick with your day job.

takeamericabackin10 on September 22, 2010 at 2:55 PM

Huck polls pretty well in Iowa. He’d be kind of silly not to take a shot at it.

Bradky on September 22, 2010 at 2:57 PM

takeamericabackin10 on September 22, 2010 at 2:55 PM

Agreed

I’d take Pawlenty over Huck or Romney any day of the week.

Caiwyn on September 22, 2010 at 2:56 PM

But I’d take Palin over T-Paw and Romney any day of the week. She is the one that the dems fear the most

ConservativePartyNow on September 22, 2010 at 2:58 PM

Huck polls pretty well in Iowa. He’d be kind of silly not to take a shot at it.

Bradky on September 22, 2010 at 2:57 PM

That’s as far as it would go with Palin in the race. I don’t even think IA would be in the cards. Without Palin, he may have a shot. Palin has made it loud and clear over the past week….she’s running.

takeamericabackin10 on September 22, 2010 at 3:00 PM

I think Huckabee will give it a shot. I also think that if he didn’t and threw his support and network behind Romney or Pawlenty it could be trouble for Palin. Conversely if he threw it behind Palin she would gain big.

Bradky on September 22, 2010 at 3:02 PM

I really like this guy, and do hope that he is able to transcend the “Tim who?” factor. He is engaging, articulate, affable, actually has a sense of humor (!), exudes a quiet competence and a genuine, non-grandstanding commitment to conservative principles. All he needs is a dash of steel and he could be a real contender.

Besides, think of the years of clever headlines playing on his name! (of course, probably the best of these would be if he were the running-mate of someone named Goode….)

Noocyte on September 22, 2010 at 3:04 PM

Does anyone here actually believe Governor Milquetoast has a shot?

flyfisher on September 22, 2010 at 3:05 PM

So Pawlenty’s response to the groundswell of conservative grassroots activism is to grease the palms of state politicos?

Tim is my governor, and I think that on balance he has done pretty good, considering the perpetual crap sandwich on the Minnesota Democrat menu. But for Pete’s sake, he is a politician’s politician, so steeped in the weak GOP tea he has no palate for the strong brew of the Tea Party.

Sorry Tim. Next?

IronDioPriest on September 22, 2010 at 3:05 PM

I’m fairly certain that I would disavow Palin is she were to have support thrown to her from Huckabee.

Yes, that’s how much I hate that guy.

myrenovations on September 22, 2010 at 3:06 PM

Great. A nobody as candidate in ’12. Just what the nation needs.

/

rayra on September 22, 2010 at 3:07 PM

HMMMMM thereal question for me is WHO would be PALIN’s running mate ?

Might an EXPERIENCED ( not that Palin has LESS experience than ZEROBAMA ) Presidential candidate and Palin as VP be a KNOCKOUT punch ?

Romney I think is unelectable because of his previous HEALTH CARE law in MASS.( was he wrong then or is he wrong now , either way he is wrong )
Huckabee? Hmm I think he has baggage that HILLARY could exploit some how and he doesnt have the broad appeal .

Running Palin as VP would let DEMS fall into the ( TRAP ) of resurrecting the SAME attacks as before .
Plain carries a LOT OF WEIGHT now .

MN is a key state and maybe TIM could sway other states like INDY , or Ohio to vote him into the oval office .
Of course Hillary would use the ” I was SEC. OF state and no one has my foreign policy experience ) but has she ACCOMPLISHED anything ?

I predict Hillary will wait until RAHM bails , then she can say ” I told you so , they didnt know what they were doing ” then she can launch her Presidential campaign
Who will HILLARY pick as a VP ?

ELMO Q on September 22, 2010 at 3:07 PM

She is the one that the dems fear the most
ConservativePartyNow on September 22, 2010 at 2:58 PM

It’s such a dependable gage. The one who’s trash they pick through and whose children they follow around is the one they know is their nemesis.

Not to much Democrap attention focused on Pawlenty at this point…

Akzed on September 22, 2010 at 3:08 PM

Don’t kid yourselves.
If Hillary does run all bets are off on both sides. Changes the perspective of left of center dems and many independents.

Bradky on September 22, 2010 at 3:11 PM

Just curious…what do the Huckabee supporters on Hot Air think…is he running?

takeamericabackin10 on September 22, 2010 at 2:57 PM

LOL, Huckabee supporters on Hot Air? Good luck finding one.

Huckabee is my least favorite 2012 prospect next to “Truce” Daniels (both are idiots), but if I’d to wager I would bet that Huckabee does not run. If he does, he will be completely dependent on a big win in Iowa.

Norwegian on September 22, 2010 at 3:14 PM

Tim “Global Warming” Pawlenty for President? Don’t think so. A Statist-lite candidate will not beat the Statist-in-Chief. No more RINO candidates from the GOP.

Michael in MI on September 22, 2010 at 3:19 PM

If he does, he will be completely dependent on a big win in Iowa.

Norwegian on September 22, 2010 at 3:14 PM

Sarah will destroy Huck in Iowa.

Nobody can touch Palin in the realm of retail politicking.

She is a natural, and has boundless energy for that sort of thing. She actually enjoys hanging out with us, as opposed to most other politicos who tolerate it with a forced smile because it has to be done.

Palin in Iowa will be a smiling Cat5 hurricane, smashing all opposition.

Brian1972 on September 22, 2010 at 3:25 PM

On Fox News Sunday, Chris Wallace asked panelists Kristol, Easton, Cheney and Williams to predict who will be the GOP presidential nominee in 2012. They all agreed that the nominee will be a new candidate and the 2008 also-rans will probably not be seriously considered, including Romney who employed Nina Easton’s husband as an advisor during that campaign.

I tend to agree and Pawlenty has the advantage of being new in lots of ways. Unfortunately, he shares Mitch Daniel’s charisma deficit. I am open to being persuaded he deserves a spot on the ticket or a new GOP administration in 2013.

Terrie on September 22, 2010 at 3:26 PM

Just curious…what do the Huckabee supporters on Hot Air think…is he running?

takeamericabackin10 on September 22, 2010 at 2:57 PM
LOL, Huckabee supporters on Hot Air? Good luck finding one.

Norwegian on September 22, 2010 at 3:14 PM

That was precisely my point. I don’t know any Huckabee supporters. Other than the few dozen that hang out on Huck’s Army, where are they?

takeamericabackin10 on September 22, 2010 at 3:27 PM

Huckster had a ground man at a Pelican Institute breakfast held in Baton Rouge today. He is also holding a fundraiser at former Gov. Mike Foster’s home. FYI, Foster and Huckster served as governors at the same time in adjoining states and became good friends.

Anyway the Huckster ground man had his “Huck” sticker on his lapel and made it well known that he was there on behalf of that campaign.

Kermit on September 22, 2010 at 3:29 PM

Kermit on September 22, 2010 at 3:29 PM

Sarah Palin will win Louisiana.

Oil and Gas, commercial fishing. Sportsman’s Paradise.

Brian1972 on September 22, 2010 at 3:34 PM

Romney. Huckabee. Pawlenty. Gingrich. Etc.

The same names again and again. Why not Mitch McConnell – he’s been around for a few years…

Do these people actually inspire anyone ? Do they get people excited ? Or are they just next in line like Dole and McCain were ?

Don’t we have some fresh blood with a burning love of this country, principles, a plan, a fire in their belly and the ability to lead ?

The fortitude to stand up and say what they think regardless of the direction of the wind and the amount of arrows aimed back at them ?

The republican party establishment can not foist these bland retreads on us once more. It is irrelevant, and as we have seen during the last week, part of the problem.

This country wants and needs a leader with with a giant set of brass testicles to tell our enemies, both foreign and domestic – especially domestic, to STFD and STFU. Just like Chris Christie is doing in NJ.

Is there no one besides Gov Palin with that amount of brass ??

Who can be our next President Ronald Reagan ?

crom on September 22, 2010 at 3:40 PM

One hour and five minutes and 34 comments.

Woo boy T-Paw is on fire today.

myrenovations on September 22, 2010 at 3:47 PM

One hour and five minutes and 34 comments.

Woo boy T-Paw is on fire today.

myrenovations on September 22, 2010 at 3:47 PM

Half the comments are about Huck vs. Sarah.

Heh.

Brian1972 on September 22, 2010 at 3:52 PM

That’s the way you do it. Money for running and your hicks for fee.
Randy

williars on September 22, 2010 at 4:03 PM

Don’t kid yourselves.
If Hillary does run all bets are off on both sides. Changes the perspective of left of center dems and many independents.

Bradky on September 22, 2010 at 3:11 PM

Agreed. If the GOP wins big in Nov. and if the Hildebeast runs, I think Palin may say that her mission to drive 0bama out of office has been accomplished and she waits for ’16 or later. The race would then become what we thought ’08 would be, HRC v. Romney. And my money would be on HRC.

Lou Budvis on September 22, 2010 at 4:17 PM

Note to Gov. Tim: get down to Delaware and GET TO WORK!!

Khun Joe on September 22, 2010 at 4:23 PM

That was precisely my point. I don’t know any Huckabee supporters. Other than the few dozen that hang out on Huck’s Army, where are they?

takeamericabackin10 on September 22, 2010 at 3:27 PM

In evangelical churches, that’s where.

Terrie on September 22, 2010 at 4:29 PM

He takes votes from Mittens. Go T-Paw.

james23 on September 22, 2010 at 4:32 PM

In evangelical churches, that’s where.

Terrie on September 22, 2010 at 4:29 PM

Sarah Palin is a natural choice for evangelicals, because she is one.
She can decimate him there.

Brian1972 on September 22, 2010 at 4:34 PM

Kermit on September 22, 2010 at 3:29 PM

Sarah Palin will win Louisiana.

Oil and Gas, commercial fishing. Sportsman’s Paradise.

Brian1972 on September 22, 2010 at 3:34 PM

No one was interested in what the Huckster man had to say.

Kermit on September 22, 2010 at 4:55 PM

As far as fundraiser go, former gov. Mike Foster can put up a few million and not miss it. He knows something about running as an outsider and very far behind and winning. His campaign HQ was in a small town (his home) in a couple of mobile homes and he put up two of his own millions to fund it. Everyone told him that he could not even be in the running without a campaign HQ in the state capital, Baton Rouge.

Kermit on September 22, 2010 at 4:59 PM

Romney. Huckabee. Pawlenty. Gingrich. Etc.

All non-Conservatives who’d vote for Castle in a heartbeat and throw O’Donnell under the bus even faster. Of all those named, Gingrich has the most Conservative credibility. Which isn’t saying much anymore after he declared that the Era of Reagan is dead. I’m sorry, I’m voting for a change back to the Reagan Era and looking for Reagan Democrats rather the RINOs to do it. Going for Environmentalists and thinking that government can run social security, and health care make wanna hold my nose when you walk in the room. I’m sorry we’re connected by Republican association.

Sultry Beauty on September 22, 2010 at 5:07 PM

No RINOs please. Had enough with liberal lite.

I don’t think Pawlenty will get traction. The voters in NH are very annoyed with liberal moonbats.

dogsoldier on September 22, 2010 at 5:59 PM

I like Pawlenty a lot more than I like Romney. Pawlenty has more governing experience. Romney just has money and the establishment backing him.

texasconserv on September 22, 2010 at 6:52 PM

Pawlenty may score with the cool-as-ice, half-asleep look. He comes across as unflappable and studied. Not saying he’s my first choice, but I like what I see.

leftnomore on September 22, 2010 at 8:01 PM

Speaking of ‘gets in face’, here is some real ‘gets in face’.

Six UK men arrested after video of them burning Koran on 9/11 ‘for the boys in Afghanistan’ is posted on YouTube.

Jeckle on September 23, 2010 at 4:37 PM

Speaking of ‘gets in face’, here is some real ‘gets in face’.

England strikes another blow for Sharia

Six UK men arrested after video of them burning Koran on 9/11 ‘for the boys in Afghanistan’ is posted on YouTube.

Jeckle on September 23, 2010 at 4:39 PM