Tim Pawlenty Could Stand To Gain While The Big Names Sit On The Sidelines

Bookmark and ShareThe 1st GOP Presidential debate is in the books. There are those who feel it lacked the “Wow” factor that it would have had if the top polling candidates had taken part. With Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin all declining to attend, the field was filled with candidates whose names are not well known on a national scale. Texas congressman Ron Paul is probably the exception to that statement but his public persona and Libertarian views have never played well to most in the GOP.

Of the remainder of the field that included former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson, Former Godfather’s Pizza CEO and conservative talk show host Herman Cain, Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum and former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, it may have been Pawlenty that came out with the most to gain from the absence of the big name candidates.

Most of those polled said that they came away with a better opinion of Herman Cain than any other candidate. I agree. Cain came away as the non-politician’s politician but he is an unknown to most voters and will need much more than this debate to get the recognition he will need to mount a serious run. Santorum is known to a certain degree through his work on Fox News but has established himself as the social issues candidate so far in a time where the economy will likely reign supreme. Gary Johnson is the poor man’s Ron Paul and did little to move up the ladder in the debate and at points looked uncomfortable on the stage. Ron Paul is simply Ron Paul. Most Republican’s tend to agree with his economic stances and most independents with his social stances but he has difficulty communicating them in a manner that helps him in a conservative GOP primary.

That leaves Pawlenty, who did little to “Wow” the audience but came across as a solid candidate when put next to the CEO with little experience, the Libertarian’s with little communication skills and the evangelical social issue guy, as a possible challenger to the big name candidates who themselves have issues that will be exploited if and when they decide to enter the race. Romney has to answer for his health care program he implemented while Governor of MA. Gingrich has had marriage issues that have haunted him for years. Huckabee has issues regarding his stances on crime while Governor of Arkansas and Palin, well she has always incurred the wrath of the media and I expect if she decides to run in 2012 it will be no different.

So although he may have not brought the “wow” factor with him to South Carolina last Thursday night, it could be Tim Pawlenty who very well takes away the most from the debate. Although Herman Cain may have hit the “wow” factor it was Pawlenty who by reason of recognition stands to gain the most from the decision of the big names to sit this one out. If he stays on message and the more recognizable names continue to sit dormant, Tim Pawlenty has one up on the other candidates.

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CPAC Releases Its Speakers Schedule

Bookmark and ShareNext week the American Conservative Union will conduct its annual Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C.. The event has become a rite of passage for Rpublicans who are trying to make their wayt down the path to the White House and is seen as an agenda setting gathering of the G.O.P.’s political base.

This year, speakers include:

Andrew Breitbart, Ann Coulter, Wayne LaPierre, David Horowitz, Donald Rumsfeld, Phyllis Schlaffly, Congressmen Paul Ryan, Connie Mack,and Allen West, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, Colorado Senator Mike Lee and Florida Governor Rick Scott.

But in addition to those speakers, the following list ofpotential Republican presidential candidates will also be addressing the lively crowd:

  • THURSDAY, February 10:
    10:00 AM: Michele Bachmann
    1:00 PM: Newt Gingrich book signing.
    2:00 PM: Rick Santorum
    4:30 PM: Paul Ryan
    6:15 PM: A reception co-sponsored by SarahPAC.
  • FRIDAY, February 11:
    10:30 AM: Mitt Romney
    1:30 PM: John Thune
    3:00 PM: Tim Pawlenty
    3:30 PM: Ron Paul
    4:00 PM: Rick Perry
    4:30 PM: Herman Cain
    7:30 PM: Mitch Daniels
  • SATURDAY, February 12
    9:30 AM: Haley Barbour

The highlight of the event is its annual straw poll. Last year, Ron Paul won. Mitt Romney was the winner of the CPAC straw poll in each of the two years prior to that. This year’s straw poll results are scheduled to be announced at 5:15 PM on Saturday, February 12th.

Click here for a complete itinerary of the Conservative Political Action Conference

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