MINNEAPOLIS, MN – Vin Weber, GOP strategist and advisor to former Governor Tim Pawlenty in his short-lived 2012 presidential bid, said that he seriously doubts Pawlenty will challenge Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) for her seat in 2012, but he would definitely expect him to enter future races, perhaps as soon as 2014.
“I would doubt that very, very much. He has been working this very hard literally for several years,” said Weber in an interview on the Scott Hennen show today, “but by no means do I think that he is out of politics.”
“There are a lot of options,” continued Weber. “In two years he could run for either Senator or Governor against Al Franken or Mark Dayton, or he could wait and run for President again, if we don’t have a Republican president at that point. I know Tim Pawlenty pretty well, and I don’t think the desire for public service is gone at all.”
Weber shared that all of the campaign staff knew that without a strong showing in Iowa, Pawlenty would face fund-raising difficulties going forward. The former Governor finished a distant 3rd, placing him in the “top tier,” but apparently it was not good enough for Pawlenty.
“I thought he would wait for a while and test the waters a little bit,” said Weber. “What surprised me was the immediacy of his decision to pull out.”
Regarding the criticisms leveled at presidential candidate Michele Bachmann, Weber praised Bachmann for her calm response under fire. “She handles these things very, very deftly. You attack her at your own risk,” said Weber. “She doesn’t get rattled; she doesn’t come off as mean spirited; she doesn’t get defensive. She handles it well and her attacker ends up looking bad.”