Today Mitt Romney
pulled off one of the first surprising twists to the 2012 Republican presidential nomination contest as former Minnesota Governor and the first former 2012 presidential candidate, Tim Pawlenty
, endorsed Romney for President. The Governor described Mitt as the most knowledgable and capable candidate in the field.
The original announcement came on Fox News’ Fox and Friends in the late morning hours of Monday……..
Pawlenty had promised not to endorse any candidate or assist any candidate in the nomination process but in what was a bit of a surprise, not only did the man who was once trying to aggressively oppose Romney, endorse him, later in the day Mitt Romney announced that T-Paw would serve as a national Co-Chair of the Romney for President campaign.
The endorsement is yet another sign of how succesful Romney is becoming at solidifying establishment support. It is also a sign that many are beginning to perceive Romney as the person who will ultimately be the winner of the Republican nomination. Pawlenty’s endorsement signals a “get on board before the train leaves the station” mentality that is building despite the rather big splash that Texas Governor Rick Perry made when he cannonballed into the nomination contest on the day of the Iowa Straw Poll and the day before Pawlenty pulled out of the race.
For his part, Pawlenty is not exactly the most obvious of former rivals to endorse Mitt Romney, especially so early on. For T-Paw, Romney’s candidacy was one of the biggest hurdles to his own presidential candidacy. As such, Pawlenty aggressively targeted Romney and his record, particularly Mitt’s Massachusetts healthcare plan which Pawlenty famously called ObamneyCare. But much worse has been said by former rivals who have later gone on to throw their support behind the winning candidate that they once opposed. In recent history, the race between President Obama and Hillary Clinton for the 2008 Democrat presidential nomination is a prime example of how politics can make strange bedfelows.
During the 2008 presidential nomination contest, Clinton oozed derision for Obama. On one occasion she cracked;
“Now, I could stand up here and say, ‘Let’s just get everybody together. Let’s get unified. The sky will open. The light will come down. Celestial choirs will be singing and everyone will know we should do the right thing and the world will be perfect.'”
The crack was designed to malign the messianic image that many were establishing for then candidate Obama.
During another exchange Clinton stated;
“Sen. Obama’s insistence on repeating attacks that have been demonstrated to be false by independent entities proves once and for all that his speeches about the new politics are just words.”
As for Barack Obama, he took plenty of shots at Clinton. At one point his campaign even launched a minisite called “Hillary Attacks”. It had the singular purpose of tracking and highlighting Clinton’s negative comments about him.
A year later, candidate Clinton was president Obama’s Secretary of State Clinton.
So there is nothing new with the coming together of former political rivals, but as history shows, the rivals usually ony unite with the winner. They rarely unite with one another during the election process. In this case, it is obvious that Pawlenty believes Romney is the winner and he is trying to insure himself a ticket on that gravy train.
Shortly after Pawlenty made his announcement on Fox News, the Romney campaign’s website had posted on it, the following open letter from Pawlenty on their website:
By: Tim Pawlenty
Great crises often produce great leaders. Unfortunately, sometimes the timing isn’t right, and neither is the leader.
Barack Obama came into office in the midst of a great economic crisis. Although hopes were high, he did not rise to the occasion. Now that the clouds of enthusiasm and excitement have parted, we see he was obviously unsuited for the task at hand.
President Obama has failed to meet America’s economic challenges.
His three years of spending, regulating and taxing have not restarted the economy. Unemployment remains at a shocking 9.1 percent. Economic growth is hovering on the edge of a renewed recession.
Abroad, the standing of the United States appears uncertain and adrift under the failed leadership of a president who prefers chastising allies to condemning foes.
Fortunately, America may get a second chance: Mitt Romney is running for president, and I am proud to endorse him.
Alone among the contenders, he possesses the unique qualifications to confront and master our severe economic predicament. His abiding faith in our country’s exceptional historical position as a beacon of freedom will make him the most important leader in a world that depends upon a strong America to stay at peace.
Having served as Governor of Massachusetts, he turned that state’s budget around from deficit to surplus while simultaneously cutting taxes, but that is not the full measure of what he will bring to the Presidency. His time in government was a moment of service – a way to give back to our country—following a distinguished career in the private sector, where he launched companies and turned around troubled ones.
When the 2002 Winter Olympics were on the verge of collapse thanks to a bid-rigging scandal, Romney was asked to take over. The attacks of September 11 created a security nightmare. Romney presided over a highly complex security mobilization, addressed the management troubles plaguing the games, and staged one of the most memorable competitions ever seen on American soil.
Romney is running for president because he is deeply committed to our country, troubled by its current condition, and I believe he can turn it around.
He’s formulated an economic plan—a set of alternatives to the government-oriented programs that Barack Obama has put in place—that is unparalleled in the history of American electoral campaigns. By pressing for fundamental change in the way that Washington taxes and spends, issues regulations, uses energy, interacts with our major trading partners, and deals with our labor force, he fully envisions a way to place America back on the path toward rapid economic growth and full employment.
And at his core, Mitt Romney is a man of great character. He and his wife Ann have been married for more than four decades. She is the love of his life. Together, they have five sons and sixteen grandchildren.
But he’s not only a family man, he is a man of principle. He believes in the bedrock conservative ideals of limited government and free enterprise. He will stand up for America’s allies when they are threatened, with fortitude. And he will face down our adversaries. He is a formidable person, and he will certainly be a formidable president. Our allies can count on it, and our enemies should expect it.
Crises indeed produces great leaders. Sometimes it just takes awhile.
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