I rarely discuss national politics in this editorial, so I promise that, after this week, I will not write about the Republican presidential nomination for at least another year.
In my opinion, former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty was a non-factor in the race for the Republican presidential nod long before he officially launched his bid in May of this year. This week, he declared that he was abandoning his ambitions after a third-place showing in the Iowa caucuses.
I have met and talked with at least five business owners from Minnesota and a few intelligent residents who live near the Twin Cities who were big Pawlenty fans when he was governor. But as "T-Paw" began his campaign for the White House, it was evident that those who liked the former governor became disenchanted with his ideals.
Pawlenty, a professional politician from St. Paul who served in the Minnesota House of Representatives at the age of 28 for 10 years prior to being elected governor by narrow margins in 2002 and 2006, prided himself during his brief presidential campaign for not raising income taxes, eliminating his state's budget deficit and shutting down state government for the first time in history while he served as governor. His last pronounced claim to fame is what I think did him in as a potential presidential candidate.
The people I talked to about Pawlenty either really liked him or disliked him greatly. In the last few months, especially after the State of Minnesota shut down again during budget negotiations, every one of my associates told me that he was part of the problem for their government's shutdown this summer.
I don't know much about Rick Perry, (the longest-serving governor of the State of Texas) but I have a gut feeling that he will win the Republican presidential nomination to face President Obama next November. My personal belief is that, unless the economy continues to tank or even recovers to some extent over the course of the next 10 months, we will have a two-term president. On the other hand, I could be wrong since I haven't picked an elected official on the national scene correctly since 1992.
Either way, the only ones who lose during the next 14 months are the voters, since we have to listen to all of the sound bites of mud-slinging and pundits who know it all. I promise I won't talk about it again in this forum for at least another year so I don't contribute to the agony.
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