Poor Lawrence O’Donnell. He keeps getting things wrong, in public, on national TV.
For instance, remember how he spent half of last year yammering that Tim Pawlenty was a lock for the GOP presidential nomination? Too bad, so sad.
Undeterred, O’Donnell simply switched from proclaiming Pawlenty a shoo-in for top of the GOP ticket to proclaiming him a shoo-in for the second slot on the GOP ticket. This is what LOD was saying as recently as last Thursday, when he chomped down hard on this Politico teaser: “Tim Pawlenty has jumped to the top of the vice presidential shortlist of several Mitt Romney advisers after emerging as the most effective — and well-liked – surrogate for the GOP-nominee-to-be, according to several Republicans familiar with campaign deliberations.”
O’Donnell spent that segment hammering Politico for what he called taking the word of a Pawlenty associate on this matter when in fact Pawlenty had been the front-runner for the GOP running mate slot for 223 days “and I put him there!”
Wow. Ego much, Larry?
And guess what? Wrong again, cupcake: “Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (puh-LEN’-tee) says he’s told Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign to look elsewhere for a running mate.” He announced this on CBS’ Face the Nation program this morning.
So why did Pawlenty say no? There are two likely scenarios: 1) He knew Romney’s people were going to stiff him just like McCain’s did and he wanted to do a face-saving preemptive-strike move, or 2) He can read polls. I subscribe to the second scenario, and here’s why:
Remember, this is the guy whose primary reason for wanting the 2008 RNC in St. Paul was so he could appear on stage as John McCain’s running mate. He fully expected to be picked by McCain, much as Bob Dole fully expected to be picked by George Herbert Walker Bush in 1988. He wants the presidency — or the vice presidency — so much he can taste it.
Why would such a man turn down an offer to be on the 2012 Republican presidential ticket? Because he can read the polls:
See that map? Obama needs to get, at most, two more swing states to get him over the top — and if he gets Florida, only one. Romney, by contrast, needs to pick up at least five of the six swing states, one of which had better be Florida. Furthermore, the economy is doing better in most of the swing states than it is elsewhere — which is why Romney’s been telling the GOP governors of swing states to stop talking up how well they’re doing in terms of recovering from the Bush Depression.
Plus, Pawlenty’s seen this past week how well the Latino community has reacted to Obama’s end run around Republican refusal to pass the DREAM Act. That’s going to be a big issue in Florida. If he wasn’t sure before that Romney’s going to go down in flames, he’s probably sure now — and he doesn’t want his 2016 presidential-nomination résumé contaminated by being the running mate for a failed presidential candidate.
06/25/12 Update: And now we see that Michigan’s just flipped from toss-up to Leans Obama, giving him a total of 269 EVs of the 270 needed. And with the GOP-dominated SCOTUS just handing down an SB1070 ruling that preserves the worst and key part of it, Romney can kiss goodbye any hope of getting the Latino vote.