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Tonight’s Republican Debate: Tim Pawlenty the One to Watch

Tim who, you ask?

Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, or T-Paw as he likes to be known, to be exact.

Of the five potential Republican nominees appearing at the Republican Presidential Debate tonight in South Carolina, Pawlenty is probably the best, all ’round, solid-enough Conservative to land the nomination. And the fact that he was an 8 year Republican Governor of Minnesota, an undeniably blue state gives him as much, if not more experience than most of the others in the debate, and even the no-shows.

But T-Paw has one down side. And, no, I’m not talking about his cigarette tax increase, although conservatives are sure to knock him for that. I am talking about his absolute lack of charisma. T-Paw, so far, has managed to excite an audience about as much as leftover meatloaf.

He is articulate, has an amazing command of statistics and facts, and is knowledgeable and well spoken on nearly any topic. It is hard for any Conservative thinker to disagree with T-Paw.

But he is about as exciting to watch as Ben Stein. Even with a teleprompter.

I am told he is doing better, but tonight will be the first opportunity to judge the progress of his charisma. Although this is the first debate of what one suspects will be many, it may also be the best opportunity Pawlenty has to emerge from the bottom of the pack. Tonight could also be the beginning of the end for a Pawlenty candidacy if things do not go well. And that would be a real shame. T-Paw would most likely make the best president of the entire field, and is currently my favorite Republican candidate based on who would make the best president.

But without a major charisma makeover, he could not win.

And, oddly, I have spoken to or interviewed all of the other candidates in tonight’s debate except Pawlenty.

Here is my take on the other four:

Ron Paul

What can you say about Ron Paul? He is spot on with almost every domestic fiscal issue. End the Fed. But Ron Paul will never win the Republican nomination. Mainly because he is really a Libertarian. And Republicans don’t vote for Libertarians. Most take issue with Paul on foreign issues and social issues. Especially the drugs. Most Republicans think of Paul as an isolationist on foreign policy, but he is really more of a non-interventionist. And he makes a lot of sense with some of his foreign policy positions, but goes too far towards the isolationist end of the spectrum. And the majority of Republicans seem to be too far on the “meddle in everyone’s business” end of the spectrum to ever vote for Paul.

Gary Johnson

Gary Johnson is a really personable man with a great sense of humor and humility. I did a really fun interview with Johnson at this year’s CPAC and was truly glad I met him. It was a fun interview. Even so, Johnson stands about the same chance as Ron Paul of gaining the Republican nomination, and for most of the same reasons. Paul and Johnson would make a splendid ticket for the Libertarians, but we all know that would mean 4 more years of Obama and the total and final destruction of America.

But I do like Gary Jonson personally!

Rick Santorum

Rick Santorum is a former two term Senator from Pennsylvania who lost 59% to 41% to Democrat Bob Casey. This was a complete disaster for Santorum. The former senator is afflicted with a bad case of foot-in-mouth disease on almost any issue you can name. I have met him, spoken with him and I come away with the impression that Santorum is a bit on the egotistical side with a large dose of whiner rising. He comes across as the least mature of group tonight, and goes in in last place on my scorecard.

Herman Cain

I also met Herman Cain at this year’s CPAC and he is a dynamic force. He is very conservative and extremely business oriented. He is also a likable fellow and one you get the feeling you do not want to cross. On the surface, he would seem the perfect presidential nomination for the Republican Party. But his lack of political experience, which many, including Cain, see as a positive, would actually be a disadvantage as president. And he is devoid of any foreign policy experience.

One of the negatives, in my opinion, Cain shares with Donald Trump is the expectation that they can run the country like they run a business. On the surface, this sounds logical. But when you consider that most business deals are a deal or no deal affair, and most important things in politics are must do deals, where you are not able to walk away without a deal, you begin to see how a business background without political experience will not work.

Cain is a great guy and he and Ron Paul will wow the audience tonight.

But the one to watch is still Tim Pawlenty.

About Tom White

Tom is a US Navy Veteran, owns an Insurance Agency and is currently an IT Manager for a Virginia Distributor. He has been published in American Thinker, currently writes for the Richmond Examiner as well as Virginia Right! Blog. Tom lives in Hanover County, Va and is involved in politics at every level and is a Recovering Republican who has finally had enough of the War on Conservatives in progress with the Leadership of the GOP on a National Level.

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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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