In the endorsement wars, we have one formal one, and one all-but-one. Both were probably about equally welcome to Pawlenty.
The formal one was Republican Congressman Joe Wilson of South Carolina: it's notable both for the person (Rep. Wilson is rather well-liked in conservative circles for pointing out for the record that President Obama is a liar) and the location (South Carolina is an early primary state). I don't know if Pawlenty expects to win Iowa or not - there's currently a good bit of discussion over just how important ethanol is to Iowans - but he certainly needs to win either New Hampshire, South Carolina, or both. Depending on which politicians show up to the RedState Gathering in August, I may have some interesting answers as to what they think Pawlenty's chances are in that state. I'm certainly going to be asking the Governor herself that.
The all-but-one endorsement is possibly even more interesting. Via Hot Air comes some very positive comments from General Electric CEO Jack Welch:
...everything I see Tim Pawlenty say in the last month appeals to me. He’s not the jazziest guy in town. He’s not the most exciting. But if you look at what he says and his vision for America and that plan he put out in the last 48 hours. Every time I see him on an interview, whether it be your show or somebody else’s, the guy makes sense.
...you know, I was at the gym this week talking to some guys who never would have thought this. I said what I just told you. That his guy’s starting to intrigue the hell out of me. And then he came out with this plan. I talked to some guy. He said, I’m going to have to throw a fundraiser for him. I almost dropped dead. This guy would never support Tim Pawlenty in his life. He’s a Democrat. He’s going to have a fundraiser for him.
The support here is qualified, as it is usually qualified when it comes to Tim Pawlenty, with the concession that the candidate does not produce the same cloud of brain cell-destroying adoration that the current President used to such great effect in 2008. It is, however, also being conceded that perhaps it would be preferable to have a candidate that did not emit such clouds - but did propose economic and social policies that might, perhaps, actually work. Of course, when it comes to 'will do a better job than the incumbent' the GOP has almost an embarrassment of riches*; but Pawlenty's being remarkably specific and optimistic about it. We'll see if that translates to more support down the line.
Moe Lane (crosspost)
*For the record: this isn't 2008. Glenn Reynolds uses the term 'syphilitic camel' where I would the phrase 'would crawl over broken glass,' but the meaning is the same: the Republican base will be going to the polls next year. Which should worry the heck out of the White House; but not as much as it should the Governors of Missouri, New Hampshire, and North Carolina.