Pawlenty and Bachmann The two Minnesota
candidates have been mixing it up a bit. Pawlenty and Bachmann
offer decidedly different approaches. Pawlenty is low-key, while
Bachmann is outspoken. Pawlenty has effectively been running for
president since 2009; Bachmann was not even seen as a potential
candidate until after the 2010 mid-term elections. Yet the two
are linked by their Midwestern roots, and they are trying to appeal to
many of the same groups (tea partiers, evangelicals, Iowans).
Since her emergence as a potential candidate, Bachmann has overshadowed
Pawlenty.1 Something had to give, and on July 10
Pawlenty fired the first shot during an appearance on NBC News' "Meet
the Press," focusing on Bachmann's experience more than her
positions. Pawlenty declared, "[H]er record of accomplishment in
is nonexistent." Bachmann responded with a statement, declaring,
negativity, I want
to focus on my accomplishments."2 The sniping
continued the next weekend as Bachmann issued a statement
pointing to her "record of success in the real world in business, the
law, and in fighting for our principles." "Executive experience
is not an asset
if it simply means bigger and more intrusive government," she wrote,
highlighting instances in Pawlenty's record where he had taken
positions at odds with the conservative viewpoint.
1. The Star Tribune's Steve
Sack has captured the dynamic in several editorial cartoons:
One from Feb. 26, 2011 shows the two as planets. "Q. What do you
call it when Michele Bachmann surpasses Tim Pawlenty in a Gallup
presidential poll? A. A loony eclipse."
Another shows "Prez Hopeful Tim Pawlenty Visits Michele
Bachmann." Pawlenty, holding a measuring cup, stands at
Bachmann's door. "I'm having trouble firing up the base—" he states. "Can I
borrow a cup of crazy?"
Another shows Pawlenty in Bachmann's shadow thinking, "Which
way to Iowa?" "Which way to New Hampshire?" "—"and most important,
which way out of Michele Bachmann's shadow???"
Another shows a see-saw labeled "Campaign Buzz" with Bachmann in the
air on one end and Pawlenty crushed under the other end. She
states, "You'll get the hang of it, Gov. Pawlenty—you've only been at this
for two years."
2. Democracy in Action. "Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty Appears on NBC
News' "Meet the Press," July 10, 2011. >
3. Bachmann for President statements,
Huntsman and Romney The Huntsman campaign has sought to
draw distinctions between Huntsman and Romney from the outset.1
bit in common: they are both Mormons, both have
Utah ties, both have significant business experience, and both have
rugged good looks. Romney has the advantage of having run
previously, so he has established some familiarity with voters and has
also learned what didn't work and made adjustments. Romney is
also seen as a frontrunner, albeit a weak frontrunner. Huntsman
has the advantage of foreign policy experience, and points to his
successes as governor. However, they are competing for many of
the same fundraisers and voters.2 In the first few
months, the Romney campaign did not seem to pay much attention to
Huntsman, instead keeping its focus on the economy. Romney
nonetheless dealt a rather severe blow to Huntsman on July 6, when his
campaign announced endorsements of more than 60 Utah elected officials.3
having difficulty finding a groove,
and on July 21 campaign manager Susie Wiles announced her
resignation. Senior advisor Jon Weaver issued a statement, "Now
the campaign is moving into phase two which will be more aggressive
from a messaging and tactical standpoint." Aggressive meant
focusing more attention Obama and on Romney; this was evident, for
example, from a July 25 Huntsman release "The Romney-Obama Budget Plan:
Raise Taxes."4 1. See for
example one of the Huntsman campaign's launch videos, "An Authentic
Conservative," which includes several barbs directed at Romney or
the semil-daily "The Morning Hunt."
2. See Luis F. Perez. "Romney, Huntsman to Compete for Utah
Donors." Newsmax, May
12, 2011. Also Matt Viser. "Romney camp moved London
fundraiser out of Huntsman supporter’s home." Boston Globe, July 1, 2011.
In terms of voters, Huntsman signaled his intent to compete
aggressively in New Hampshire, which is seen as almost a must win state
for Romney. See for exampleSteve
building big NH team, changing tone."
Associated Press, July 26, 2011. Peoples writes that Huntsman "is
quietly assembling what may end up
being the largest paid GOP primary effort in the state's
a couple of editorial cartoons were found which address the Mormon
question, and the challenge it poses in winning over evangelical
voters. The cartoons are quite similar; both portray Huntsman and
Romney as missionaries trying to win over a Republican elephant.
(Bagley, for the Salt Lake Tribune—Huntsman: "What do you really know
about Mormons..." Romney: "...and would you care to learn
more?" Elephant: "Nothing and no." Fitzsimmons, for the
Arizona Daily Star—Huntsman:"I'm Elder Huntsman and he's Elder
Romney." Romney: "We're Moderates." Elephant: "No,
thanks. I got my own religion."
3. Romney for President
release. "Mitt Romney Announces Support of Utah Officials."
July 6, 2011.
the list actually supported Huntsman, but the fact that so many
officials from Huntsman's home state would back another candidate did
appear to bode well for him). Huntsman did a little response in
kind the next day, announcing Jim Rappaport as chair of his campaign in
4. Jon Huntsman for
Romney-Obama Budget Plan: Raise
Taxes." July 25, 2011.