Regrets, He’s Had A Few

Tim Pawlenty seems to be looking over the two months that have elapsed since he dropped out of the Presidential race and wondering what might have been:

ST. PAUL, Minn.—Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty says he might have stayed in the Republican presidential race longer had he known it would be this volatile.

Pawlenty reflected on his decision to drop out after his official state portrait was unveiled Monday night. He left the race in August after finishing third in the Iowa GOP’s straw poll in which he says he invested heavily.

Pawlenty says he would have persisted in the race “if I would have known then what I know now.” He says his campaign was in debt and lacked, in his words, “additional chips to see the next card in the hand.”

Pawlenty, you will recall, dropped out of the race the day after a disappointing third-place finish in the Ames Straw Poll and Rick Perry’s entrance into the race. At the time, it seemed like best choice for him. His campaign had never caught fire, his poll numbers and fundraising were disappointing, and Perry’s entry into the race seemed to foreclose any possibility of him breaking through into the top tier. After what’s happened since then, one has to wonder what might have happened if Pawlenty had found a way to keep his campaign going for another 60 days or so. Would he have been the one to benefit from Perry’s fall instead of Herman Cain? We’ll never know, of course, but you’ve got to bet that it’s a question that bugs Tim just a little bit.

Via Politico

FILED UNDER: 2012 Election, US Politics, , , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. James Joyner says:

    I never understood Pawlenty’s appeal. He’s essentially Mitt Romney without the good looks, polish, or business acumen. Cain is something of an Alger Hiss story and is very appealing to the base; I’m just not convinced he’s presidential material.

  2. Will says:

    @James Joyner:

    Cain is something of an Alger Hiss story and is very appealing to the base

    LOL, I think you meant “Horatio Alger”

  3. James Joyner says:

    @Will: Ha! Yes. Yes, indeed.