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$1 million later, Pawlenty still seeking attention in Iowa

Tim Pawlenty spent lots of money in Iowa, logged more than a thousand miles there and shook lots of calloused hands. Still, Politico says, the Republican candidate “can still show up almost unnoticed.”

But even when the reporters outnumber the voters at a campaign stop, Pawlenty keeps plugging away because Saturday’s Ames Straw Poll is crucial for his chances, the story says:

He made the final pitch he’s been making for weeks in his bid to stay alive past Saturday: He is the workhorse candidate with proven results who can have a smart, reasonable conversation with normal Americans.

His pitch to about 40 people in the Boone, Iowa, library Tuesday:

“Any bobblehead can stand up here and spout off the Republican talking points — that’s not hard,” he said. “The additional question I hope you ask is this: Did you actually do all that stuff? We don’t need…fancy speeches or ridiculous rhetoric. We had that with President Obama.”

That’s his consistent line of attack against Michele Bachmann, the fiery congresswoman who easily tapped the intensity he has worked so long to cultivate — and still can’t, as he rushes to keep her from pulling off her expected win on Saturday.

“Before we next put someone in the Oval Office…they better be ready for the job,” he said. “[Obama] had been in the United States Senate long enough to have a cup of coffee before it got cold, and then we made him president of the United States — and it didn’t work. We need seasoned, tested leaders with results. Don’t get duped by rhetoric.”

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