For a long time I thought Tim Pawlenty would be the eventual nominee. He kept his head down, worked hard, and hired a hell of a good team. Nick Ayers, Alex Conant, Ann Marie Hauser, and the rest of the team have really done well building Pawlenty’s image as a problem solver and as a blue state leader with red state values.Unfortunately, the personal charisma and charm Pawlenty had one on one never translated and he seemed uncomfortable throwing the punches necessary on a campaign trail. As Bachmann rose and word of a Perry entry came, the rationale for a Pawlenty campaign diminished.Tim Pawlenty really is a nice guy and it showed through. But being a nice guy and an exciting guy are two different things and the campaign was not able to generate excitement.Tim Pawlenty’s service to his country is not yet done I suspect and I hope.On a final note, Tim Pawlenty was a real and a serious candidate for President — not a book salesman or charlatan. When it became clear he could not win the nomination, he got out gracefully and swiftly. There are many candidates more deserving of the title “former candidate for President” than Tim Pawlenty. And I hope those candidates will learn from Pawlenty’s departure a valuable lesson in leadership — knowing when to lead, even when the direction is off the field.