Four months ago, Tim Pawlenty announced his candidacy. Now he is the first candidate among the 2012 Republican candidates to drop out of the race.
Tim Pawlenty, although he's a good conservative Republican, ran a weak campaign. He tried to portray himself as bold and strong candidate who can stand up and tell the unvarnished truth. However, during the New Hampshire CNN GOP debate, he refused to follow through with his "ObamneyCare" attack on Mitt Romney. As a result, he came across as a timid, weak, and irresolute candidate who couldn't own up to his own words when the time for truth was required. That is why it was no surprise that Mitt Romney won that debate.
T-Paw's refusal to attack Mitt Romney when given the opportunity was a mistake that he would never be able to recover from and marks the beginning of the end of his campaign. Its one of the biggest campaign debate flubs of all time.
Of course, the fact that he he admitted that he should have stuck to his guns on his "ObamneyCare" statement after the New Hampshire debate and made a weak attempt to save face by attacking Romney's healthcare plan on Twitter didn't help him rebuild his image as a man who boldly spoke the unvarnished truth.
T-Paw's inability to step up to the plate destroyed his own campaign and personal image. It is almost impossible to rebuild that kind of image once its been damaged.
In fact, his attempts to resurrect that image only reinforced his image as as a timid, weak, uncertain candidate. He looked weak when he debated with a liberal heckler in comparison to Romney's strong stand against a bunch of Marxist hecklers the day before. He also tried to take on Michelle Bachmann and Mitt Romney at the Iowa Debate but couldn't land a solid punch on either candidate.
The man that T-Paw tried to portray himself to be was never present throughout the entire campaign. As a result, people didn't have the confidence that he would be the kind of man who would be strong in telling like it is.
The other reason why Pawlenty's campaign fizzled out so quickly was the fact that he kept getting overshadowed by other candidates who jumped into the race after him. People were all talking about Jon Hunstman, Michelle Bachmann and Rick Perry and how their entrance to the 2012 race would shake things up. Even smaller candidates like Thaddeus McCotter stole some of the spotlight from Pawlenty.
When T-Paw took a distant third at the Iowa Ames Straw poll, he realized he couldn't go on any further. He devoted all his resources to winning that poll and came up short. Despite the fact that Mike Huckabee has urged him to stay in the race, Tim Pawlenty has made a wise choice to bow out. He doesn't have the organizational or fundraising power to stay in the race. He doesn't come out particularly strong in attacking his candidates and his lukewarm in his retail politics when compared to other 2012 candidates.
Tim Pawlenty's campaign had so much potential. However, that potential was squandered because he could not become the person he advertised himself to be.