Tim Pawlenty ends campaign

Tim Pawlenty has bowed out of the presidential race after a poor third place finish in the Ames straw poll yesterday.

At this point every national reporter who treated Pawlenty like a viable candidate for the Republican nomination and a serious threat to Mitt Romney’s stance as frontrunner should apologize to their audiences for being so monumentally wrong. Pawlenty was a national media candidate, despite there never being any evidence that he resonated with national Republican voters. The press repeatedly highlighted him as a real threat, but outside of the political press corps, that sentiment was never echoed. Pawlenty never raised serious money. His field campaign was beset by intoxicated staffer problems. He backed down from an opportunity to follow up on his attacks on Obamney Care to Mitt Romney’s face, looking weak and timid. And in the end, he couldn’t even make it within a quarter of the Iowa caucus. By comparison, the juggernaut presidential campaigns of Joe Biden, Bill Richardson, Dennis Kucinich and Chris Dodd made it to Iowa last cycle, and beyond. None of these Democratic campaigns were ever treated by the press as anything other than also-rans.

The national press gave Tim Pawlenty their stamp of approval as a serious, viable candidate. But the national press corps is not picking the GOP nominee. It’s more and more clear that it’s going to be the Tea Party who picks the Republican nominee and Tea Party Republicans were just not buying Tim Pawlenty – a fairly moderate governor of a fairly liberal state – as one of them. This is the modern Republican Party and it’s dramatically different from the Republican Party of 2000 or even 2008. It’s changed and with it have their candidates for President. The press needs to accept this and start aligning their coverage in a way that tells the story of what is actually happening in this race and not what they’d like to have happen in this race.


Matt Browner-Hamlin is a blogger & political strategist based in Washington, DC. He has written about US politics since 2004. He's worked on presidential and Senate campaigns, in the labor movement and the Tibetan independence movement. He is the founder of OccupyOurHomes.org and currently spends much of his time fighting Wall Street banks. Matt on Google+, and his .

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