Say what you will about Tim Pawlenty, the guy doesn’t give up. Rather than heading off to a vacation in the Greek Isles like some people, or simply teasing the media like others, he’s throwing everything up to and including the kitchen sink at the wall to see what sticks. But despite some possibly encouraging news in the polls this week, it still looks like he’s going to need a lot of help. Now he’s out with yet another ad hoping to win some hearts and minds in Iowa. The Boston Globe seems to think he’s recycling some of Mitt’s 2008 themes, but I’m sensing a different message in the background. More on that shortly, but first let’s take a look at the ad.

From the Globe:

Republican presidential contender Tim Pawlenty is appropriating the Olympic imagery that rival Mitt Romney has tried to make his own as the former Minnesota governor seeks to invigorate a flagging campaign.

In a television ad released yesterday in Iowa, the lead caucus state, Pawlenty casts himself as battle-tested and capable of overcoming doubts as he speaks over videotape of the 1980 “Miracle on Ice” US Olympic men’s hockey team. It beat the Russians en route to the gold medal.

As homespun and heart-tugging as the imagery is, it’s curious for a candidate barely out of the starting gate.

Curious is certainly a word I’d use as well. While the ad is very slick and professional with some solid themes, the entire idea of the “Miracle on Ice” always summons up images of a victory by somebody who isn’t really being given any sort of shot at winning. I generally expect to see a bit more projected confidence (genuine or not) from candidates who feel they are in serious contention.

There’s still a long road ahead before the first primary votes are cast, but T-Paw seems to have already begun portraying his own campaign as The Mighty Ducks in this race. Then again, unless he can make a very strong showing in the Ames straw poll, perhaps he’s just being a realist.