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It is clear that much of the current field doesn’t want to repeat the Bush mistake. In recent days, Mr. Pawlenty, Mr. Huntsman and Rep. Ron Paul of Texas have been among those on the ground, glad-handing potential supporters and opening up the floor for questions.

Mr. Pawlenty finished his sales pitch Saturday by urging the crowd to consider who in the field of Republican contenders can appeal to the entire spectrum of the conservative movement, including social conservatives, fiscal conservatives and national defense conservatives.

“If we are going to have a successful effort to get Barack Obama out of office, we are going to have to have a candidate who authentically and genuinely appeals to all of that,” he said. “I think I’m the only candidate in the race who does.”

The crowd then clapped, swarmed Mr. Pawlenty and continued to pelt him with questions.