Tim Pawlenty gets a lot of grief for not being “dynamic,” but he’s starting to become intriguing, legendary GE CEO Jack Welch told Piers Morgan last night. “Dynamic” can help get someone elected, Welch tells Morgan, but as we’ve seen with Obama, it doesn’t do much afterward. Welch had been leaning towards Romney — not a big surprise, considering they both come from Wall Street backgrounds — but Pawlenty’s economic plan “intrigues the hell” out of Welch now. Welch says that even Democrats might be taking a look at Pawlenty:
Morgan: Do you see anybody emerging on the Republican side who is the kind of leader that you’re looking for?
Welch: You know, Piers, this is a great question. Because if you asked me that a month ago, I would have said, well, Mitt Romney might be best guy, et cetera. The most obvious guy. But everything I see Tim Pawlenty say in the last month appeals to me. He’s not the jazziest guy in town. He’s not the most exciting. But if you look at what he says and his vision for America and that plan he put out in the last 48 hours. Every time I see him on an interview, whether it be your show or somebody else’s, the guy makes sense.
Morgan: He definitely does. My only issue with him is that he — he’s not the most dynamic of characters. Does that matter anymore? Because Obama —
Welch: It makes a lot of difference to get elected. It doesn’t do a hell of a lot for you once you’re in the job.
Morgan: You’re a Republican, right?
Welch: Yes, absolutely.
Morgan: So you want somebody who can beat President Obama. Now, Barack Obama, whether you like him or not, is a very, very dynamic kind of character.
Morgan: He has the youthful exuberance and zest and all that kind of thing. When you look at somebody like Tim Pawlenty, I think he’s a smart guy. I’ve enjoyed having him on the show. He makes a lot of sense, like you say. I can see the temptation. But in your heart, do you think he can beat someone like Obama?
Welch: I’m going to find out over the next 15 months. Hopefully the next 6 to 9 months because they’re going to pick somebody in the primary. But, I mean, I just have found him — you know, I was at the gym this week talking to some guys who never would have thought this. I said what I just told you. That his guy’s starting to intrigue the hell out of me. And then he came out with this plan. I talked to some guy. He said, I’m going to have to throw a fundraiser for him. I almost dropped dead. This guy would never support Tim Pawlenty in his life. He’s a Democrat. He’s going to have a fundraiser for him.
Morgan: Why do you think he’s doing that?
Welch: He likes what he says. He likes what he says. There’s some buyer’s remorse on the Wall Street crowd over the Obama selection, whether you want to buy that or not. There is some buyer’s remorse.
Jack Welch carries weight on economic and fiscal policy among conservatives, although Welch has never been overtly political. The last time we checked in with Welch, he was blasting Obama on his supposed move to the center, warning about Card Check through executive fiat, and despairing over Obama’s assertion of social responsibility in the private sector. He’s obviously motivated by the desire to change Presidents, and while this isn’t an endorsement, it’s probably going to have people giving Pawlenty and his economic plan a closer look.