Tim Pawlenty meets the Florida press corps in Coral Gables in May. A PostOnPolitics scribe is in sunglasses toward the right.
He fumbled his golden opportunity to pin “Obamneycare” on Republican frontrunner Mitt Romney
in a New Hampshire debate. His Iowa performance showed he wasn’t even the best-known Minnesotan in the race. Now former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty
is dropping out
of the 2012 GOP presidential contest.
Whatever his shortcomings elsewhere, Pawlenty had lined up some big-name backers in Florida, including former Jeb Bush campaign chairman Phil Handy as his Florida chairman, former Bush speechwriter and Internet aggregator Justin Sayfie as a Florida co-chairman and former Bush fundraiser Ann Herberger as a national senior finance adviser.
T-Paw also garnered endorsements from 14 state House Republicans, including the next three speakers-in-waiting: Reps. Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel; Chris Dorworth, R-Lake Mary; and Richard Corcoran, R-New Port Richey.
Herberger said she was looking for Pawlenty to get a boost from next month’s Republican Party of Florida “Presidency 5″ gathering in Orlando.
“I think his whole team in Florida absolutely wanted him to go on and take it to Presidency 5, but it just wasn’t to be,” Herberger said after a morning conference call with Pawlenty. “I think we could have been very competitive here.”