The only candidates I am seriously considering for the Republican nomination are individuals who have served as governor of a state. It’s more than having someone who has escaped the taint of Washington politics, coming to town as outsiders, not part of a system some former Senator calls “broken.” (Funny how just after that Senator got a promotion, he didn’t find the city to be broken. Guess “our politics are only broken when “Obama isn’t doing so well.”)
A governor will have had experience both running a state government and working with an elected legislature. In his first few months, the next president will have to work with the 113th Congress to repeal much of the bad legislation passed in the 111th while appointing individuals to the various federal agencies able to rescind or otherwise revise the anti-business regulations that have proliferated in the past two-and-half years (and yes, even before then).
That’s why the immediate past Minnesota governor was on my short list, now reduced to two of the announced candidates (as I hold out hope for one who has not announced). Michael Barone pretty much summarizes why that good man did not do as well as he had hoped in the Ames Straw Poll this past weekend:
Pawlenty seems to have suffered the fate of a vanilla candidate, with a record generally acceptable to economic, cultural and national security conservatives, but unable to stir the enthusiasm necessary to win him first choice votes in a state in which his chances on paper seemed better than almost any place else. Pawlenty has many admirable qualities, and having observed him in Minnesota over the years I expected him to do better. . . . He has reason to feel that he has been thrust aside, in ways that almost no one predicted or foresaw, by two female candidates substantially less qualified for national office than he is. But no one is guaranteed a fair shot at the presidency.
Emphasis added. Read the whole thing. Lamenting that “Pawlenty proved unable to maintain his campaign all the way to the Iowa caucuses next year“, Scott Johnson wonders if the accomplished former governor had the fire in the belly necessary to take on the incumbent:
Republicans are looking for someone who can stand up to Barack Obama and go toe to toe with him on the national stage. The hunger among Republicans on this score is almost palpable. If Pawlenty couldn’t land a fair punch on Romney to his face — not the cheap shot on the size of Romney’s lawn that he deployed during last week’s debate — one had to doubt that Pawelenty was the guy to face down Obama.
“His record,” Jennifer Rubin comments, “was solid; his persona and retail politicial skills were insufficient.”
Electoral success is not just about executive accomplishment.