PGH Quick Take – Tim is Out!
Tim Pawlenty has officially withdrawn from the race for the Republican nomination. As I noted in my Tim is In! post, Pawlenty had to pretty much win the Iowa straw poll to have a chance. And he didn’t. In fact, he came in so far back in third place as to make people forget that Newt Gingrich barely even registered in voter’s minds.
So this morning, Pawlenty announced his withdrawal on the “This Week” program on ABC. And as the Washington Post notes online this morning, the Democrats were quick to put Pawlenty’s loss in perspective:
Brad Woodhouse, communications director for the Democratic National Committee said, said the poll results were an example of how out of touch the GOP is with the rest of the country.
“A former two-term Governor of a neighboring state, a social conservative, a person who on paper should be everything Republicans should consider in a candidate for president, was run out of the race because he wasn’t extreme enough,” Woodhouse said in a statement.
Woodhouse went further in explaining how extreme the Republican party has become as hostage to the tea party:
“In the past 72 hours we’ve seen all the GOP candidates swear allegiance to the Tea Party in a debate, the national front runner refer to ‘corporations as people,’ the two most extreme candidates in the field – Tea Party favorites – come out on top of the Iowa Straw poll and someone once considered among the leading candidates for the nomination drop out of the race because he was not extreme or vitriolic enough for the Tea Party which now owns and operates the GOP,” Woodhouse said. “But, while protecting tax breaks for the wealthy and big oil while proposing to end Medicare, slash Social Security and pile additional burdens on the middle class might win plaudits with the Tea Party, it’s not remotely what the American people are looking for.”
So with Pawlenty out, the path forward is paved on the choice between three people. Mitt Romney is the establishment candidate (the “next in line”). Michele Bachmann is the ultra-right wing tea party candidate (complete with hypocrisy of chastising the stimulus law and chiding government subsidies while begging for stimulus funds and taking government subsidies). And Rick Perry, who is trying to be both establishment and tea party, and probably ending up being the worst of both.
And we still have 6 months before the first primary voting. Fun.
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