Gov. Tim Pawlenty continues to get his pre-presidential message out there in key states, writing an op-ed piece for Sunday’s Manchester Union Leader. That’s in New Hampshire, home of the legendary early presidential primary.
The governor tells the Granite State that the recent election results prove Americans are realizing there are limits on what government can provide and uses his cash-vs.-open-bar-at-a-wedding analogy.
Guests presented with options at a cash bar typically will pause and think about what they would like to consume, how much they would like to consume, and how much it will cost. The money they spend is their own, and they tend, for the most part, to make reasonable and rational choices.
Now consider an open bar. Guests tend to consume almost endlessly (we’ve all seen it), with no regard for cost, much less the volume of consumption. People at an open bar are more likely to embarrass themselves, not to mention bankrupt the father of the bride.
Washington, D.C., has essentially become an open bar affair: Congress hands out “free stuff” without concern for the bill. We’ve seen bailouts for big banks and car companies, “cash for clunkers,” and mortgages for all. The Democrats passed a “stimulus” that only made the deficit bigger, while they did nothing to reform entitlement programs.
Patrick Caldwell of the American Independent notes that Pawlenty’s New Hampshire showing will be key in his presidential bid, even more so than in Iowa:
New Hampshire, on the other hand, continues to contain a more moderate, independently-minded Republican Party that could be favorable to Pawlenty’s style. Early polls of the state (which should be taken with a grain of salt when they are conducted over a year before voters head to the polls) show Pawlenty far behind the rest of the pack at 4 percent support. Those same polls put former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney far ahead of the other candidates, at 40 percent.
Pawlenty will likely draw support from similar elements of the party as Romney, so these early polls indicate that once Pawlenty raises his name recognition on the campaign trail, he could establish himself as the alternative moderate Republican in the race and pull voters away from Romney. Likely Pawlenty’s most viable route toward gaining his party’s nomination will be through a strong New Hampshire showing in February 2012, using that win as a springboard for future primary victories.