Tales from the Trail

Pawlenty is in the race for Republican presidential nomination

May 23, 2011

Tim Pawlenty upstaged Tim Pawlenty  on Sunday.

The former Minnesota governor said he is in the race for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, revealing the news in a polished, campaign-ready  video posted on his website.

The surprise announcement came in a preview of the official announcement he was set to make Monday in Iowa. In the video,  he says Des Moines  is his first campaign stop. But he was already campaigning.

“We need a president who understands that our problems are deep, and has the courage to face them. President Obama does not. I do,” Pawlenty says in the video.

The polls suggest others may not think he  has what it takes to take on — and defeat — the Democratic president.

Pawlenty’s  consistently ranked near the bottom of the pack, just ahead of Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels and former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum.

But  Daniels is now out as a possible contender.

He made a surprise announcement of his own Sunday saying he’s sitting out the 2012 presidential race because his family comes first.

“In the end, I was able to resolve every competing consideration but one, but that, the interests and wishes of my family, is the most important consideration of all,” Daniels said in an early morning email to supporters.

Some  pundits view the GOP field as weak and lacking star power. But it’s still very early in the campaign season.

Along with Pawlenty and  Santorum, here’s a list of others who could emerge as THE one:

  • Mitt Romney, front-runner in the polls and a veteran of the 2008 campaign, hasn’t announced yet
  • Former ambassador to China and former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman is testing the waters
  • Newt Gingrich is in and perhaps looking to get his campaign back on track after a rough week
  • Former Godfather’s Pizza CEO Herman Cain joined the race on Saturday
  • Texas Congressman Ron Paul, another veteran of 2008,  promises  a “firm decision” soon
  • Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin said last week she has “fire in her belly”
  • Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, still considering

Photo Credits: REUTERS/Brian Snyder (Pawlenty speaks at Tea Party Rally in Concord,  NH in April); REUTERS/Jonathan Ernest (Daniels speaks at the Conservative Political Action conference  in Feb.)

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