Posted by on July 20, 2011 in Blog

“The main way we’re gonna goof this up as Republicans is to nominate the wrong candidate.” That’s what GOP presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty recently conveyed to a group of potential Iowa caucus-goers as he has struggled to gain political momentum before the crucial Iowa straw poll on August 13th. His comments are more than likely aimed at fellow Minnesotan and presidential candidate Michele Bachmann who has emerged as an unexpected challenger to Pawlenty in Iowa. Bachman’s frontrunner status in the state has asserted pressure on Pawlenty and has forced the often unaggressive, soft-spoken candidate to finally start throwing some punches of his own–this time at Bachmann. By and large, the viability of Pawlenty’s campaign is dependent on winning the Iowa caucus, and so far his weak polling in Iowa has been a cause for concern, with less than a month to go before the Iowa straw poll.

Recently on “Meet the Press,” Pawlently criticized Bachmann’s lack of initiative as a House Represenative, characterizing her three terms as effectively "nonexistent.” Pawlenty added that “we’re not looking for folks who just have speech capabilities. We’re looking for people who can lead a large enterprise in a public setting and drive it to conclusion. I’ve done that, she hasn’t.”

Although Pawlenty’s aggressive campaigning against Bachmann has yet to yield results in the polls, his message may still be relevant. The Obama campaign’s decision to focus its efforts on people it considers to be serious candidates appears to reaffirm Pawlenty’s warning about nominating a candidate with reach only to the far right. Nevertheless, it remains to be seen whether Pawlently has ample time to convince Iowa caucus-goers that he is the more practical candidate to have in a general election.