- Obama takes aim at ‘corporate deserters’
- Dick’s Sporting Goods lays off 478 PGA golf pros
- Senators: Cease-fire must allow Israel to defend against rockets, tunnels
- Sierra Leone doctor fighting Ebola catches disease
- Iraq welcomes Russian fighter jets, helicopter gunships into ISIL fight
- John McCain laments: Obama’s ‘self-pity … is really kind of sad’
- GOP offer to fix VA gives $10 billion in emergency funds
- Paul Ryan offers to repair U.S. economic safety net with a single grant stream
- Kim Jong-un builds bond with Putin: $250M Russia-backed addition to key port opens
- Pope Francis meets Meriam Ibrahim, a Sudanese woman sentenced to death
Pawlenty leaves Romney camp
Steps down as co-chairman
Question of the Day
Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty has resigned as a national co-chairman of Republican Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign and ruled out any 2014 political races in Minnesota, in order to lobby for Wall Street.
The Financial Services Roundtable announced Thursday that Mr. Pawlenty will become its new president and chief executive officer on Nov. 1. Pawlenty adviser Brian McClung told the Associated Press that Mr. Pawlenty ruled out the Minnesota governor and senator races as he prepared to take the job heading the Wall Street lobbying group.
Mr. Pawlenty was an early entrant in the Republican presidential campaign, but he ended his bid last year after a poor showing in the Iowa straw poll. He was also a finalist to be Mr. Romney’s vice presidential running mate.
The Financial Services Roundtable said in a news release that Mr. Pawlenty was stepping down from the campaign because the group is a bipartisan organization.
“He’s got kids going to college. I expect this is a high-paying job,” said Larry Jacobs, a political science professor at the University of Minnesota.
But Mr. Jacobs said it’s not unusual for politicians to move in and out of lobbying jobs and that the 51-year-old Mr. Pawlenty’s decision shouldn’t necessarily be looked at as a permanent departure from electoral politics.
Mr. Pawlenty was twice elected governor of Minnesota, in 2002 and 2006. His 2006 win was the last time a Republican won statewide in Minnesota.
“I think he would have cleared the field in any race he was interested in,” said former House Republican Leader Marty Seifert, who lost the party’s endorsement to succeed Mr. Pawlenty in 2010.
Now the party is without a big-name prospect to take on U.S. Sen. Al Franken and Gov. Mark Dayton in 2014, when they will be running for second terms.
Both those Democrats won their races by extremely close margins that required statewide recounts. Minnesota Democrats expect both men to run for re-election.
Both races could get crowded. Former Sen. Norm Coleman is said to be interested in running again, either a rematch with Mr. Franken or for governor, a seat he ran for but lost in 1998. State House Speaker Kurt Zellers is seen as interested in challenging Mr. Dayton.
Mr. Seifert said he’s not interested in the U.S. Senate race but hasn’t ruled out another bid for governor.
Mr. Coleman and Mr. Zellers did not immediately return calls seeking comment. Ron Schutz, an attorney at the Minneapolis firm Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi, told the AP that he’s seriously considering both the Senate and the governor’s race.
“Of course, we have to get past the 2012 election first,” Mr. Schutz said. But, he said, if President Obama is re-elected, then 2014 could be a good year for Republicans since the party of an incumbent president has historically done poorly in the following election.
State Rep. Keith Downey and 2010 gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer also are mentioned as prospects, and current members of Congress such as Michele Bachmann and Erik Paulsen also could be contenders.
TWT Video Picks
By Michael Widlanski
Leveling the battlefield to aid terrorists enables evil to fight on
- 'We're coming for you, Barack Obama': Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL terrorists
- NAPOLITANO: What if our democracy is a fraud?
- Hamas rejects Kerry's call for cease-fire; Fears grow others could join fight against Israel
- Evidence shows Russia firing artillery into Ukraine: Pentagon
- Cutler wins endorsement from gun control group
- Obama orders Pentagon advisers to Ukraine
- Algerian plane diverted due to storms, second aircraft: 116 missing
- Man says he shot burglar who said she was pregnant
- CARSON: Costco and the perils of mixing politics and business
- Obama's empty tough-talk: Gun prosecutions plummet on his watch
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq