This is the ninth post in our series, The Picture from Iowa, 2012 based on photos and on-the-ground conversations with photographer Brendan Hoffman leading up to the Ames Straw Poll, combined with analysis by The Bag.
I can’t decide how much I think T-Paw was battered by media group think — the consensus being he didn’t have the right stuff — versus how much Pawlenty just plain couldn’t clear that classic bar, for an American presidential candidate, of “having enough sizzle.” After his distant third in the straw poll, this shot particularly stands out for me. That hockey photo-op about three weeks back was one of the higher-energy Pawlenty events, encouraging his team to imagine they might finally be gaining traction. Looking at the shot now, however, it now seems more like a cruel joke. “T-Paw, T-Paw,” the screams rang out as he gave himself to the crowd of half-pints. Seen in the rear view mirror, this photo is arguably more a testimony to a campaign for President … of Sesame Street, Pawlenty’s mug more resonant with “The Forty Year Old Virgin.”
Follow all the posts in this series at: The Picture from Iowa, 2012.
(photo: Republican presidential hopeful Tim Pawlenty is greeted by screaming children before playing in a scrimmage hockey game during a campaign stop on Friday, July 22, 2011 in Urbandale, IA.)