Back in April presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty chose 29 year old Nick Ayers as his campaign manager. Ayers is well experienced for one so young and really blossomed at the Republican Governor’s Association (RGA). Pawlenty’s choice caught my attention because I felt like it would guarantee he would have a good message and good organization.
It turns out that Ayers has put together a great organization for Pawlenty, but the messaging went wrong at Thursday night’s debate in Iowa. While the Governor made some good points, what everyone will remember is his atttacks on fellow Minnesotan, Michelle Bachmann. He unwisely accused her of failed leadership when she has in fact been what she herself called “the tip of the spear” on repealing Obamacare and holding the line on debt. Bachman is a tea party favorite. Pawlenty’s attack on Bachman will be viewed as an attack on the tea party. That is a mistake in today’s environment.
Governor Pawlenty has a record in Minnesota. Depending on your politics it was either OK or good. After tonight, his record may not matter.
Pawlenty is short on personality and that’s a fact. He needed to score big tonight but instead got in a petty feud with Bachmann. He did it because polls show Bachmann is cleaning his clock in Iowa. After his desperate attack, his clock is broken.