To win in Iowa, Pawlenty could take the Huckabee approach

Tim Pawlenty
MinnPost/Jay Weiner
Tim Pawlenty
Mike Huckabee
REUTERS/Brian Snyder
Mike Huckabee

Huckabee, and his shake-every-hand campaigning style, executed that strategy well. Of the 1,700 Iowans on Huckabee’s campaign mailing list, 1,500 ended up going to Ames, Huckabee national campaign chairman Chip Saltsman said.

“If Pawlenty can do the same thing, I think he will do well,” he said.

“When you don’t have money you have to rely on a grassroots effort,” he said. “You can win with grassroots in Iowa.”

“We would have been ecstatic if we had had the fundraising that Pawlenty had,” Vander Plaats said.

But the campaign used all it could focusing on — what else? — Ames, spending all but a few thousand dollars during the ramp-up to the straw poll.

“Presidential campaigns don’t lose. They run out of money,” Saltsman said. “If you’re not spending on the Iowa Straw Poll, you’re wasting money.”

Part of Huckabee’s strategy included using strong debate performances to his advantage, but debates “have to be memorable for the right reasons,” Vander Plaats said. That means no “Obamneycare” misfires like the one that marred the second half of Pawlenty’s June.

“He can use this as a way to change the narrative,” Yepsen said.

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Comments (7)

  1. Submitted by Tom Christensen on 07/11/2011 - 11:32 am.

    Tpaw is just wasting everybody’s time and money. He does not have any viability. He is a talker not a performer as his Minnesota record shows. He, like Bachmann, play fast and loose with the facts. Even with softball questions on Meet The Press yesterday he wouldn’t answer some of the questions. Both Pawlenty and Bachmann are losers!

  2. Submitted by Dimitri Drekonja on 07/11/2011 - 11:36 am.

    Not being in politics, perhaps this is just a stupid comment from an uninformed observer (who happens to enjoy Pawlenty being mired in single digits)- why would Pawlenty want to model his campaign after Huckabee’s? Last I checked, he didn’t get the nomination, and he’s currently reaping the big bucks as a talking head. If Pawlenty is shooting for this, great. Beats working for a living.

    I’m just waiting for the backlash from the tea-partiers now that he decided to talk about Bachmann’s lack of a record. Maybe he’ll even have the guts to do so to her face, which will set up a nice ranking system for the rest of the field: how intimidating is your favorite republican presidential candidate:
    5: very intimidating, Tpaw won’t utter a word of critiscism
    4: pretty intimidating: Tpaw will make subtle digs in the studio, but won’t say anything direct in any setting
    3: average (or Romney-level): Tpaw will make direct critiscisms from a studio, but won’t do it in person
    2: minimally intimidating: Direct Tpaw attacks from afar, subtle digs in person
    1: Not intimidating at all: Tim actually says what he thinks to your face. This candidate may not exist.

  3. Submitted by Greg Kapphahn on 07/11/2011 - 02:02 pm.

    Sorry, but former Gov. Pawlenty simply does not have the right attributes to appeal to the dysfonic base which owns the Republican Party in Iowa.

    He’s missing the pieces of his personality that would allow him to come across as being sufficiently passionate about the subjects on which he speaks (he simply lacks the ability to foam at the mouth and spray spittle across the room).

    Furthermore, although he’s a “Christian Conservative,” his brand of such is not nearly rabid enough for these folks.

    Ms. Bachmann, on the other hand can deliver the most dishonest, disingenuous lies about American history, current events, and the content of the Bible with the passion (and foaming at the mouth spittle) required to convince the massively dysfonic Iowa Republican base that she’s “one of us.”

    Somehow, when I read about what the current Republican base in Iowa is up to, I’m always reminded of the character “Beulah Gasnick’s” attempts to get all books written by “Terrence Man” banned from the school library at the PTA meeting featured in the movie “Field of Dreams.”

    (And her outlandish accusation that Mr. Mann stopped writing books because “he masturbates.”)

    Somehow I think, in the current Republican Party in Iowa, “life” is distrubingly imitative of that art, meant, at the time, to be so outlandish as to be humorous.

    It’s not funny, anymore.

  4. Submitted by will lynott on 07/11/2011 - 02:37 pm.

    TP need not worry, there is no winning approach for him in Iowa, or anywhere else for that matter.

    And, remind me again, what happened to Huckabee after his Iowa win…?

  5. Submitted by rolf westgard on 07/11/2011 - 03:28 pm.

    It appears that TPaw doesn’t know who or what he is, as he attempts to shape himself into something that will appeal to a big chunk of Republicans. Bachmann is capturing most of the Tea Party contingent, and Romney is astride the center, if there is such a thing in the Republican Party. It should be an entertaining year.
    In response to his attacks on Bachmann’s limited accomplishments, her supporters can ask, “How many orphan children have you adopted?”

  6. Submitted by Dennis Tester on 07/11/2011 - 04:32 pm.

    “In response to his attacks on Bachmann’s limited accomplishments, her supporters can ask, “How many orphan children have you adopted?””

    Actually, it’s been, “Regardless, she still has more legislative accomplishments than Barry did and not nearly as many “present” votes.”

  7. Submitted by Lora Jones on 07/11/2011 - 06:42 pm.

    TP’s candidacy started DOA and will end that way. I suppose it is always possible that some massive implosion (read showdown between the Rabid Religious Right and the Rabid Corporate Right and the Rabid Libertarian Right) will occur, and Timmy will squeak in as the least objectionable alternative. I have to assume that that’s what he’s counting on.

    Personally, I’m just hoping that Mickey B does well enough long enough to forego filing in District 6.

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