Tim Pawlenty, the former governor of Minnesota, is resigning as a national co-chairman of Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign to take a job in Washington as a top lobbyist for a group representing banks and financial companies.
For the last year and a half, I've kind of felt sorry for Tim Pawlenty. Not because I like his policies—he's a Bush neocon, through and through—but because he's just a total loser who always keeps trying. I respect that. He was a top contender for John McCain's vice presidential candidate in 2008, and he got rolled over for some crazy governor with a vocabulary that only ran 35 words deep. He ran for president in 2012, but he got his pasty white ass whipped by Michele Bachmann. Let me repeat that: A majority of voters at the Iowa Straw Poll thought Michele Bachmann was a more serious, electable presidential candidate than Tim Pawlenty.
Pawlenty tried to be a kingmaker for Romney in the Minnesota caucus, and it turns out he couldn't even deliver his home state. Rick Santorum won that one big, and Ron fucking Paul came in second place, leaving Romney in a distant third. And then Pawlenty was running neck-and-neck with Rob Portman for Romney's VP slot. And he got passed over again, this time for some punk kid with a serious lying problem. And so where does Pawlenty find himself, after decades of good and faithful service for the Republican party? He gets the honorary position of co-chairman of a campaign that struggles to get through a single day without a disaster of some sort.
Make no mistake: Pawlenty didn't have to leave Romney's campaign right now. Any job of that caliber can wait a month and a half, until after the election. And this isn't the kind of job that a man with an eye on presidential politics would take. You can't go to lobbying for big banks, to advocating for Wall Street, in this political climate and expect to win 50 +1 percent of the votes in any election after that. This is Tim Pawlenty saying he's done with the whole shit show. It's not a polite, salaryman's exit with a gold watch and a grocery store sheet cake. This is a tremendous, public fuck you to everyone: Romney, Reince Preibus, all the staff that Pawlenty has worked with for the last year and a half. This is him showing no confidence in the Romney campaign and not caring who sees it. This is a message, and the message is, "you treated me like shit and now I'm fucking you over. How does it feel?"
Sure, he's a weaselly prick who hates the poor and will never work an honest day in his life. Of course he's going to make so much money that he'll never have to look at another poor person again, unless that person is pouring his brandy or driving his car. And absolutely, he was a terrible candidate, a bad politician, and a bad human being. But somehow, I can't help but feel a little proud of Tim Pawlenty today. He just told Mitt Romney to take this job and shove it, and that must be a remarkably satisfying feeling.