(Red Right Returning is a look back at the activity of the past week of the Republican candidates in the 2012 primary. RRR is a nautical mnemonic for the side of the buoy or marker on which you should pilot your ship in order to stay in the channel. Feel free to voice your opinions on the candidates in the comment section.)
The Ames Straw Poll
Michele Bachmann, unsurprisingly, was the big winer in the Iowa straw poll. Also, to no one’s surprise, was second place was the second place perrinial straw poll contender (but not Republican nominee winner) Ron Paul. Tim Pawlenty finished a disappointing third place and on ABC’s ‘This Week’ officially dropped out of the Republican presidential nominee race. Rick Santorum finished fourth and was glad to have at least placed while Herman Cain placed at a strong fifth. Texas Governor Rick Perry, who only announced his candidacy on the day of the straw poll, actually came in last in the poll as a write-in while presumed Republican frontrunner Mitt Romney who elected not to participate in the poll didn’t place at all.
Pawlenty Drops Out
Tim Pawlenty, long the brunt of late night comedian jokes for being a boring candidate, finally threw in the towel.
“I wish it would have been different. But obviously the pathway forward for me doesn’t really exist so we are going to end the campaign,” Pawlenty said on ABC’s “This Week” from Iowa shortly after disclosing his plans in a private conference call with supporters.
But what does this straw poll actually mean in terms of the over-all presidential race? Not much really. It’s a little like sticking our finger in the air to see which way the winds are blowing. It’s a reflection of the enthusiasm at this particular junction at this particular event. But it does provide a sense of things to come. And it caps a busy week in Republican politics.
Rick Perry Jumps In
Texas Governor Rick Perry seized the opportunity to use the Iowa event to throw his hat into the ring in a brilliant strategic move. It’s safe to say that Perry represents the Tea Party faction of the race and is a populous rebuttal to Mitt Romney.
Washington will be in recess for the better part of a month while Congresspeople return to their districts likely to get an ear-full from their constituencies over the gridlock that has been going on in Washington.