Monday, October 26, 2009

Pawlenty punts

This, I admit, is surprising.Via Red State, hat tip to The Other McCain:

We cannot send more politicians to Washington who wear the Republican jersey on the campaign trail, but then vote like Democrats in Congress on issues like card check and taxes. After reviewing the candidates’ positions, I’m endorsing Doug Hoffman in New York’s special election. Doug understands the federal government needs to quit spending so much, will vote against tax increases, and protect key values like the right to vote in private in union elections.

I didn't think Pawlenty had the stones to risk his modest "moderate/establishment" support base with such an obvious pander to his party's Flying Monkey Caucus, at least this early in the game.

What's his angle here?

Is he trying to stake out some new territory for himself between Romney and Palin -- more willing to buck the establishment than Mitt, but not quite so ... impulsive ... as Sarah? I'm not sure how he thinks that will help him.

Or perhaps he's hoping for a "heads I win, tails they lose" scenario versus Romney and Huckabee, neither of whom have endorsed Hoffman yet. If they do, he beat them to it. If they don't, they're wafflers and fence-sitters while he made the call and took a stand.

Or maybe both. Or maybe he just panicked and took a shot in the dark.

Whether or not he gains anything at all from this remains to be seen. What he's lost on it, though ... shhhhh ... hear that noise? It's the quiet shuffle of GOP establishment mandarins -- the smoke-filled room guys, the heavy fundraising hitters, the "my state for a seat on the Big Court" politicos -- tip-toeing away from Tim and toward Mitt. Or maybe even toward Newt.

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