Romney makes money, political friends

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Today’s Gallup Poll makes clear the size of the task Gov. Tim Pawlenty has of getting the Republican nomination for president in 2012 (assuming he wants it). The big green bar up there (click for a larger image)? That’s former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. The little one? That’s Tim Pawlenty.

It’s not an impossible task, of course, but Romney is making powerful friends the old-fashioned way. He’s giving them money. The Boston Globe reports Romney’s political action committee has taken in $1.6 million so far in 2009, and given away thousands of dollars to state and federal candidates (none from Minnesota).

Romney also has another advantage over Pawlenty. When his gubernatorial term ended, his state wasn’t an economic basket case.

  • DJL

    Pawlenty needs something to raise his national profile, like a VP nomination with Romney. Then he can run against an open field in 2016.

  • Mike Whalen

    Apparently, Republicans and Republican-leaning independents haven’t been visiting the Minnesota Governor’s Web site (http://www.governor.state.mn.us/welcome/aboutgovernorpawlenty/index.htm), where Pawlenty is “regarded as one of the nation’s most innovative, energetic, reform-minded and accomplished governors.” (Do we citizens actually pay for this stuff?)

    Barring an economic miracle, the Gov may have some ‘splainin to do to the electorate when the projected budget deficit for the next biennium arrives.

  • bsimon

    Mike writes

    “Barring an economic miracle, the Gov may have some ‘splainin to do to the electorate when the projected budget deficit for the next biennium arrives.”

    My sources tell me that Gov Romney left MA with a budget hole not unlike the one we have here in MN. Lesson: the national electorate doesn’t necessarily examine prior results very extensively. Gov Romney has very successfully crafted his national profile to be a successful former Republican Governor from a liberal new england state. Once the media picks up that meme, nobody much bothers to verify whether its true or not. If you read the national media’s coverage of Governor Pawlenty, they use a similar description – without covering the ongoing disaster of our state budget. They just describe him as a successful Republican governor (after all he was elected twice!) of a ‘blue’ state.

  • Bob Collins

    Part of that is the health care bill Romney signed.

    But the “look, I’m a Republicans and I got elected in the land of Democrats” narrative is a tired one for Massachusetts. Republicans have been elected governor more often than not since 1960 (somewhere on News Cut are the actual stats. Or maybe it’s on Polinaut).