Washington Extra – T-Paw power
Right off the starting line, Republican Tim Pawlenty is fashioning himself as the Chevy of presidential candidates. “We will not be the money champion in the race to start with. My friend, Mitt Romney, will be the front-runner in that regard,” he told NBC’s Today show. His nomination bid, he added, “may not be the BMW or the Mercedes campaign.”
Sounds like T-Paw is calling Mitt a Mercedes. But what Pawlenty isn’t saying is that he is running the Cadillac of campaigns in Iowa. The former Minnesota governor has put more troops on the ground in that early voting state than any of the other candidates combined, according to the Iowa Republican website.
A political scientist in his native Minnesota called it a big and costly operation, “a Napoleonic army sort of thing.” With potent paychecks, Pawlenty has drawn in some of Iowa’s best campaign talent.
Yes, he may be putting all his eggs in one basket in Iowa, but he probably needs to. Romney is likely to do well in the other main early voting state New Hampshire, next door to his Massachusetts. And that means Pawlenty needs Iowa to stay in the race. If there was ever a time for T-Paw to spend lavishly, this is probably it.
Here are our top stories from Washington…
Republicans — still looking for a 2012 savior?
The Republican field of contenders for the 2012 presidential nomination is nearly set, but that has not stopped speculation about luring another high-profile contender into the race. Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels’ decision not to run bolstered two candidates in the race — former Governors Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota and Mitt Romney of Massachusetts — but also spotlighted efforts to coax other prominent Republicans into the fray.
For more of this story by John Whitesides, read here.
Republican candidate Pawlenty aims for big Iowa splash
Republican presidential hopeful Tim Pawlenty says he will not have enough money to run a “BMW” campaign nationally but he is making a big financial bet on Iowa, where he needs to make a big splash to keep his bid afloat. Pawlenty has more troops on the ground in Iowa than any of the other candidates combined, according to the Iowa Republican website.
For more of this story by Kim Dixon and Todd Melby, read here.
For a factbox on Republicans’ slow start on 2012 fund-raising, click here.
Top Democrat calls for June deadline in debt talks
Political leaders should wrap up talks to increase borrowing authority by June 8 to avoid spooking financial markets, a top congressional Democrat said. “If we’re going to have to do it, my view is doing it sooner rather than later roils the markets less,” Steny Hoyer said in a speech at the Bipartisan Policy Center, a think tank.
For more of this story, read here.
Emerging countries push back on picking IMF chief
Emerging market countries lined up in strong opposition to the possibility a European could automatically succeed Dominique Strauss-Kahn as head of the IMF. After Britain over the weekend endorsed French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde as an “outstanding candidate” for the job, officials of emerging economies pushed back fiercely while they maneuvered to select a candidate of their own.
For more of this story by Glenn Somerville and Isabel Versiani, read here.
Tornado devastates Missouri town
A monster tornado nearly a mile wide killed at least 116 people in Joplin, Missouri when it tore through the heart of the small Midwestern city, ripping the roof off a hospital and destroying thousands of homes and businesses. Weather officials said the tornado that hit the city of 50,000 was deadliest single tornado in the country since 1953.
For more of this story, read here.
For more stories from our Washington correspondents visit www.reuters.com and stay informed.
Photo Credits: REUTERS/John Gress (Pawlenty announces he’s running for president; at town hall after his announcement)