CivicForumPAC Chairman Ford O’Connell weighed in on Republican Tim Pawlenty’s impending 2012 presidential bid.
Thanks to low name recognition, Tim Pawlenty is without question the dark horse among the tier 1 Republican presidential candidates. Pawlenty is wise to enter the GOP presidential sweepstakes early, because his fiscally conservative record as Minnesota’s governor and his blue-collar message will resonate with Republican primary voters, but only if they get to know him.
Unfortunately, Pawlenty is perceived as lacking charisma on the stump, and this could hurt him in what is expected to be a contentious Republican presidential primary. If Pawlenty can get out there and develop a little showmanship, perhaps he can improve his score in that all-important category of voter appeal.
In the electability category, Pawlenty definitely could defeat President Obama. Among the potential 2012 presidential battleground states, a good number of them (Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin) are located in the Midwest. If Pawlenty can channel his inner Midwestern conservative roots, while appealing to Sun Belt voters, Team Obama could find itself out of job in 2012.