Picky, Picky Pawlenty
You may have come across this item yesterday, which makes note of Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty’s use of a Facebook online town hall meeting to endorse several Republican candidates in various Congressional races. The presumption is that financial support from Pawlenty’s Freedom First PAC will be forthcoming, as well. It represents a significant escalation in the endorsement game for Pawlenty, especially after his celebrated misstep in upstate New York’s 23rd Congressional District. This move certainly could be the basis for building a grassroots network of loyalty and support for a future presidential bid.
It is true that Pawlenty focused on Midwestern races, but he managed to slip in Pennsylvania and Hawaii. So given that geographical spread, and with Pawlenty picking blue-state Republicans almost exclusively, it would have been pretty darn interesting to see him select from among the burgeoning list of GOP candidates in any of our own closely-contested primary races. Sounding vaguely Palin-esque, Pawlenty noted that the selected candidates share his own common-sense, conservative agenda. It would have been instructive to learn which of the Granite State Republicans most closely fits that bill for the governor.
But you wouldn’t really expect any politician with presidential ambitions to choose favorites in a critical primary state like New Hampshire, especially with our party contests not occurring until September. Making the wrong choice early could not only sour Republican voters on the candidate, but genuinely hurt his ability to build a grassroots network with maximum access to resources. So, while Pawlenty has become a frequent visitor to the Granite State, I don’t expect him to choose sides anytime soon.

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