Go to HHH home page.
Smart Politics
 


Pawlenty's Political Future: When Will We Know?

Bookmark and Share

Although taxes and vetoes are the talk of the town today, reporters at the State Capitol would still like to know the answer to the question: "When is Governor Tim Pawlenty going to announce his future political plans?"

Most analysts and pundits, homegrown and in D.C., have come to the conclusion that the Governor will not run for reelection, and will instead continue to lay the groundwork for a run at the White House in 2012. The idea is that, if Pawlenty has ambitions of becoming President (in 2012 or, more likely, 2016), those dreams will be dashed should he lose his bid for a third term in 2010.

What this theory fails to calculate is a) the (less than even) odds of Pawlenty actually losing in 2010 (after all, the Governor remains fairly popular with Minnesotans, and the political climate, statewide and nationally, is due for a pullback from the Democratic Party after big gains in '06 and '08), and b) the odds of Pawlenty being able to defeat a sitting president, were he to land the GOP presidential nomination (which is also an unknown).

As such, Smart Politics is not so quick to rule out the Governor making a run at history to become the longest-serving Governor in the State of Minnesota, and, all the while, taking a wait-and-see approach to the ultimate success of Barack Obama's presidency.

And if Pawlenty does plan to run for reelection, when can we reasonably expect to hear the news?

The Governor is clearly not going to announce any plans until after the end of session and the dust settles from the budget battle between himself and the DFL-controlled legislature. But does this mean, assuming the legislature wraps up its business without a special session, that we'll know the Governor's plans by the summer? Not necessarily.

When Pawlenty first ran for Governor in 2002, he waited until September 6, 2001 to make a formal announcement. Of course, after ceding the GOP U.S. Senate slot to Norm Coleman earlier that year (in part due to pressure from D.C.), there was little doubt Pawlenty would ultimately seek the Governor's mansion in 2002.

The Governor stated his intention to seek a second term, falling short of making a formal announcement, in October 2005. But Pawlenty did not actually launch his official campaign unitl May 31st of 2006 - some seven months after DFLer Mike Hatch kicked off his campaign (although Pawlenty had raised hundreds of thousands of dollars in the meantime).

As such, if past is prologue, the media might be sitting on the Capitol steps a long time this summer waiting for an answer from the Governor that may not come until mid-autumn. That said, Pawlenty has stated he will make his future political plans known at some point in 2009.

And, if he has a flair for the dramatic (and is taking as many notes as possible on the Obama presidency), he'll wait until as late in the year as possible.

Follow Smart Politics on Twitter.

Previous post: Why the Bachmann 'Revolution' Is a Grassroots Phenomenon
Next post: Who Does Keith Ellison Represent? (And Why Aren't Minnesotans Funding His Campaigns?)

Leave a comment


Remains of the Data

Is There a Presidential Drag On Gubernatorial Elections?

Only five of the 20 presidents to serve since 1900 have seen their party win a majority of gubernatorial elections during their administrations, and only one since JFK.

Political Crumbs

Strike Three for Miller-Meeks

Iowa Republicans had a banner day on November 4th, picking up both a U.S. Senate seat and one U.S. House seat, but Mariannette Miller-Meeks' defeat in her third attempt to oust Democrat Dave Loebsack in the 2nd CD means the GOP will not have a monopoly on the state's congressional delegation in the 114th Congress. The loss by Miller-Meeks (following up her defeats in 2008 and 2010) means major party nominees who lost their first two Iowa U.S. House races are now 0 for 10 the third time around in Iowa history. Miller-Meeks joins Democrat William Leffingwell (1858, 1868, 1870), Democrat Anthony Van Wagenen (1894, 1912 (special), 1912), Democrat James Murtagh (1906, 1914, 1916), Democrat Clair Williams (1944, 1946, 1952), Democrat Steven Carter (1948, 1950, 1956), Republican Don Mahon (1966, 1968, 1970), Republican Tom Riley (1968, 1974, 1976), Democrat Eric Tabor (1986, 1988, 1990), and Democrat Bill Gluba (1982, 1988, 2004) on the Hawkeye State's Three Strikes list.


Larry Pressler Wins the Silver

Larry Pressler may have fallen short in his long-shot, underfunded, and understaffed bid to return to the nation's upper legislative chamber, but he did end up notching the best showing for a non-major party South Dakota U.S. Senate candidate in more than 90 years. Pressler won 17.1 percent of the vote which is the best showing for an independent or third party U.S. Senate candidate in the state since 1920 when non-partisan candidate Tom Ayres won 24.1 percent in a race won by Republican Peter Norbeck. Overall, Pressler's 17.1 percent is good for the second best mark for a non-major party candidate across the 35 U.S. Senate contests in South Dakota history. Independent and third party candidates have appeared on the South Dakota U.S. Senate ballot just 25 times over the last century and only three have reached double digits: Pressler in 2014 and Ayres in 1920 and 1924 (12.1 percent). Pressler's defeat means he won't become the oldest candidate elected to the chamber in South Dakota history nor notch the record for the longest gap in service in the direct election era.


more POLITICAL CRUMBS

Humphrey School Sites
CSPG
Humphrey New Media Hub

Issues />

<div id=
Abortion
Afghanistan
Budget and taxes
Campaign finances
Crime and punishment
Economy and jobs
Education
Energy
Environment
Foreign affairs
Gender
Health
Housing
Ideology
Immigration
Iraq
Media
Military
Partisanship
Race and ethnicity
Reapportionment
Redistricting
Religion
Sexuality
Sports
Terrorism
Third parties
Transportation
Voting