UYGUR: While President Obama officially launches campaign for 2012 today, the top republican contenders have not formally entered the race yet. They‘re still exploring, exploratory committees to do further explorations, all right, but today Tim Pawlenty did release his own snazzy video in response of the president‘s election analysis.
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UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I‘ve got a question for you. How can America win the future when we‘re losing the present?
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Washington has given.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: It‘s staggering.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: In order for America to take a new direction, it‘s going to take a new president.
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UYGUR: What kind of video was that? I guess since he‘s so dull, he‘s trying to make it exciting, but I don‘t think it‘s worthy. All right. Pawlenty by the way supposed to be the exciting candidate for Minnesota? I have no idea why anybody thinks that, but there‘s actually another contender for Minnesota out there, who could be much more relevant and her name is Michele Bachmann. She raised more money than any other republican so far this year, $2.2 million, and that‘s after raising a record $13 million last year for her congressional campaign. Bachmann also just hired Mike Huckabee‘s Iowa political director from when he won the state back in 2008. So, if she has the money, she has a Tea Party and she has a weak republican field. So, does she have a real shot? I think the answer might be yes.
Let‘s talk to A.B. Stoddard, associate editor and columnist for “The Hill,” to see if I‘m right. First, on Pawlenty, OK, and who‘s better, Pawlenty or Bachmann? I don‘t know why anybody is exited by Pawlenty, I don‘t think the guy ever done anything, he is the blandest guy who has ever run for president. I think Michele Bachmann has a ten times better chance than Pawlenty. Tell me if I‘m wrong.
A.B. STODDARD, ASSOCIATE EDITOR AND COLUMNIST, “THE HILL”: I think she has the early advantage with the wow factor. He has the un-wow factor, but I think he probably has a little more staying power for the way that this primary is going to be run. Much different from 2008, a much longer slog. It is going to be a numbers game with proportion including not an early knockout, winner take all, primaries which really sets a momentum in the early state. And also determines a winner early. I don‘t think Iowa will be predictive where Michele Bachmann will run very strong of who ends up the nominee. I think it‘s going to be a long slog and I think that‘s what Mitt Romney and Tim Pawlenty are.
UYGUR: I want to get back, and I want to say, but look, I‘m obsessed with Pawlenty, what a dull guy he is. Can you someone for the love of God tells me what these guys looks like, what did he do? OK, so he was the governor of Minnesota. So what? What did he do? Why is he interesting? Why do you think he has lasting power?
STODDARD: Well, he‘s very good on television. I don‘t know if you‘ve ever seen this. And what Republicans tend to say is that he‘s good on television, and interviews very lovable, very smart, very articulate, knows the issues, knows his foreign policies, well, it‘s domestic policies. Been there—you know, more than President Obama but when you get him in a speech, when he‘s trying to travel the country and wow the crowds, he doesn‘t have the energy. And as you know, Michele Bachmann has really made a huge splash in her trips that she‘s been making any grass roots love her. And she‘s really energizing the base, and obviously as you mentioned before, she‘s a real fund-raising powerhouse, so it is something for Tim Pawlenty to contend with. Early, he was helping—proximity to Iowa. He was going to do well—but she‘s jump in all of a sudden. She was born and raised in Iowa before family moved to Minnesota, and they love her there.
UYGUR: And she‘s got much better jackets as you saw there. Look, I have seen the Pawlenty speeches, we all like, Bachmann gets something—look here, I‘m going to show you a clip of Bachmann buttering up the crowd in Iowa. I mean, she‘s a classic politician. She knows what she‘s doing. Let‘s watch.
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REP. MICHELE BACHMANN ®, MINNESOTA: I am an Iowan, I was born here in Waterloo, Iowa. And I am a seventh generation Iowan. That‘s even better, Iowans are very intelligent people, besides being extremely good looking, Iowa is the land of milk and honey.
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UYGUR: Milk and honey. All right. But look, she gets the crowd revved up. I mean, she‘s got the money, she really does, and she‘s got the numbers, so, why wouldn‘t she have a chance? And it‘s not just Iowa. I mean, look, think about it. When you go to New Hampshire now, led by the Tea Party, she‘s Tea Party, you go down to South Carolina, she doesn‘t have a chance some kind, if she does, she‘s doing pretty well in the polls there, too.
STODDARD: There are some polling among primary voters so far that are showing the same results for Michele Bachmann that did for Sarah Palin, that they think she‘s great, and they want her to run but they don‘t know that she‘s really presidential team, but that could change. She really is hot in Iowa. We don‘t know how much of a bump that will give her to rule to the other states. But remember, Mike Huckabee won Iowa, John McCain did not. It‘s not necessary predictive, and even, it was mentioned before, with this contest changing the way that it‘s going to, there will be other people who have stronger coalitions than Michele Bachmann has. Tim Pawlenty is really taking care of the republican three legged sole. Fiscal policy, domestic policy, and issues importance of social conservatives. He‘s an evangelical Christian himself. He‘s going to make sure that there‘s no stone uncovered. And I think that if you look at a long, protracted race, it‘s very hard to imagine that she ends up taking over someone who‘s a two-term governor. But it‘s early and all that can change everything. I think if you‘re Tim Pawlenty, you‘re just glad Sarah Palin, not in the race, and Michele Bachmann is.
UYGUR: I hear you. And it is exciting and it is early, we‘ll see how it goes. But you said stole, does remind of a stole, you‘re right on that. All right. A.B. Stoddard, thank you. We appreciate it.
STODDARD: Thank you.