Call Waiting
You may have come across this rather amusing item today, reporting that the newly-elected Republican mayor of Manchester, Ted Gatsas, has already received congratulatory phone calls from several potential 2012 presidential candidates, including former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, and former New York Governor George Pataki.
These kinds of informal congratulatory calls are actually not all that uncommon. It is a way for presidential hopefuls to get themselves on the radar screens of local political elites, and the mayor of New Hampshire’s largest city is certainly not a bad place to start. Assuming the particular politician is still popular in a few years, candidates may look for an endorsement from the individual, but what they will really be hoping for is access to a well-established political network, capable of raising money and providing grassroots organizing resources at a flip of the local politician’s switch. Particularly for someone like Pawlenty, who has no prior experience running in the state, these kinds of interfaces with local politicians can be critical to a successful primary run.
As an aside, since this item is only the first reference to George Pataki that we have seen in a long-time (and he is apparently friends with Gatsas), I am holding off putting him on my burgeoning list of media-referenced politicians who will never be the Republican Party’s nominee for president. You may recall that Pataki ran an ill-fated presidential campaign here early in the 2008 election cycle, but dropped out due to a lack of resources and voter interest. If his name continues to pop up in the media in conjunction with 2012, then the list awaits him.


Posted On: 11-05-2009 23:45:33 by Jim Splaine
Those political observers who discount potential candidates too early usually have pie pieces in their faces. And it happens way too often. How many discounted Barack Obama even six months before the NH First-In-The-Nation Presidential Primary, or John McCain? And how many guessed Sarah Palin would be chosen VP, and how many missed Joe Biden's recall-from-the-near-political-faded when Obama gave him the job? Then there are names like Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan and even Bill Clinton who were discounted by many know-it-alls before the NH Primary. We matter in that way. It may occur again in 2012 and 2016 and beyond.

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