Let's discuss Tim Pawlenty first, because that is the last time that Tim Pawlenty will ever come first. Pawlenty dropped out of the race this morning after finishing a distant third behind Michele Bachmann and Ron Paul. Pawlenty has struggled throughout this contest to gain traction. Perhaps the most notable thing about Pawlenty's campaign is this joke, which has made its way around the internet:
Want to hear an interesting story about Tim Pawlenty? So would Tim Pawlenty.That pretty much says it all about Tim Pawlenty.
The second significant thing to come out of this year's Ames Straw Poll was the incredible amount of damage done to the campaign of Mitt Romney by Mitt Romney himself. Back in June 2011 there were stories that Mitt Romney would skip the Ames Straw Poll, but somewhere between then and now Romney must of changed his mind because he was in Ames this weekend, trying to compete with Michele Bachmann and Ron Paul on their own turf. Big mistake.
On Thursday August 11, 2011, Mitt Romney stuck both feet in his mouth by calling corporations "people." Keep in mind that this is a strongly Republican crowd he's talking to: the anger and disdain this crowd greet Romney's declaration with is palpable.
That quote is going to stick with Romney for the rest of his life. Romney now personifies government by the wealthy for the wealthy. And then he got creamed in the straw poll, finishing seventh:
Michele Bachmann - 4,823 votesSeventh place. Mitt Romney finished behind Rick Santorum and Herman Cain. That's pathetic. Bachmann, Paul and Pawlenty were all expected to do well at Ames, but Romney was supposed to be the current leader of the GOP pack. Romney should have been able to place at least fourth. Romney was even beaten by Rick Perry's write-in votes--Perry wasn't even there or on the ballot and he beat Romney.
Ron Paul - 4,671 votes
Tim Pawlenty - 2,293 votes
Rick Santorum -1,567 votes
Herman Cain -1,456
Rick Perry - 718 votes
Mitt Romney -567 votes
Newt Gingrich -385 votes
Jon Huntsman -69 votes
Thad McCotter - 35 votes
Mitt Romney is never going to be President of the United States. I doubt very seriously that he is even able to win the Republican nomination. The only question is how long will it take--and how much donor money must he spend--before Romney recognizes the inevitability of his defeat.