Governor Pawlenty is making all the right moves with the Tea Party.
It was announced today that he will be speaking at two significant events. The first is April 15th at the Greater Boston Tea Party Tax Day Rally. This event drew 10,000 attendees last time around, and is likely to do the same this year. The second event will be smaller, but arguably more important politically. On April 16th well known Iowa Tea Party organizers will be hosting a rally on the west lawn of the capitol building in Des Moines. Pawlenty has been confirmed as one of the keynote speakers.
These events are not likely to get a lot of national attention, but I can tell you that any candidate that wants to compete for the Tea Party vote will need to not only attend these events, but use them to make the case that they are capable of winning in 2012 and governing as a conservative.
It is important that candidates make their case to the voters, but it may be more important that they work to win over the event organizers. Lets face it, Tea Party organizers are likely to be the very same people that will organize the grass roots in their states primary or caucus. If candidates understand the importance of these folks, and do what they can to help make their events successful, they will improve the chances that those people will help them when the time comes.
There are other candidates that may have a natural following among the Tea Party because of their public positions, but I have been paying very close attention and, aside from Herman Cain, I do not see any candidate doing more to work with local Tea Party organizers than Tim Pawlenty. This will not show in the polls right now, but it will absolutely make a difference when it comes time to vote.
If you combine this with the fact that Pawlenty moved up to number two in a poll of republican insiders as their pick to win the primary, I think it speaks to the fact that no other candidate is positioned as well to bring both wings of the party together to defeat Obama.
I still say however, that if anyone wants to emerge from the pack all they need to do is start taking on Obama directly. The base wants to see someone that is ready for the fight. I say take it to him.
Less Government, more Liberty!