"Sorry your campaign color has gone from red to yellow Tim. In any event, see you on the campaign trail. Jeff's team is committed to this campaign. We will prevail. Why? The state of the state is at hand. The stakes are way too high. We would rather you were on our team Tim, than standing against us. But it is, what it is."
Gasp! Shocked out of my socks! The BIG surprise announcement yesterday was our former Governor, the man who showed us a new definition of the words "fee" and "green", has decided to skip the endorsement process and go directly to the primary. What? Why? The event in Duluth is going to be blast, with the party regulars from all over the state in attendance. Then why in the world would a long time party guy like Tim Pawlenty skip this event? He is a chicken. The Minnesota chicken.
The man who poll tests everything, looked out over the Duluth horizon and saw nothing but dark skies. Jeff Johnson, whose campaign has becoming a juggernaut with citizens who are truly looking for a Minnesota change agent, was in all probability going to smoke Tim in the delegate count. Then when Tim lost the endorsement, he would be deeply wounded going into the August primary - if he had chosen that path.
Here is one thing that Mr. Pawlenty has not put into his calculus. And I have said this many times before about other candidates who wanted to skip the endorsement process. There are many of the party faithful who believe deeply in the process. Representatives to the BPOU convention, and then to the district and state conventions, spend a lot of time, money and effort to vote in the right people for endorsement. Then, when someone snubs that process for simply selfish reasons, it falls flat with the party which should be the backbone of the nominee.
Jeff Johnson has said since the beginning. He WILL support the endorsement. In other words, Jeff plays by the rules. His team would also do the same. I know I would. If Pawlenty had gone to the convention and beat Jeff, I would have supported Tim Pawlenty. That is how the process is supposed to work. You campaign hard, and if you win, the ones who did not win support the winner. The way Arnie Carlson got the nomination years ago, was a bitter pill for many during his entire time in office.
Tim Pawlenty may have tapped into some "big cigars" to give him Tom Steyer or George Soros type of money, but the grass roots candidates have not. They rely on vote by vote, dollar by dollar, to get their message out. A needless primary bleeds campaign war chests down to critical levels when that money is sorely needed to win the general.
One final thing. I told Jeff Johnson last night why I thought Pawlenty exited as fast as he did from the endorsement process. It was Jeff's fault. First his endorsement from Pawlenty's former Lt. Gov., Carole Molnau. Then the gut shot came from Jeff announcing Donna Bergstrom to be his running mate. Those two events, along with having a very weak hand, drove Pawlenty into the primary instead of the endorsement.
Sorry your campaign color has gone from red to yellow Tim. In any event, see you on the campaign trail. Jeff''s team is committed to this campaign. We will prevail. Why? The state of the state is at hand. The stakes are way too high. We would rather you were on our team Tim, than standing against us. But it is, what it is.