The Financial Times refers to Tim Pawlenty as “the first major Republican candidate to formally announce his US presidential ambitions, declaring on Facebook that he was launching an exploratory committee.”
The Christian Science Monitor declares that “Tim Pawlenty will become the first ‘serious’ Republican candidate to form an exploratory committee”.
Jada Smith writes for the New York Times that Pawlenty is “the first major Republican to enter the 2012 presidential race.”
USA Today calls Pawlenty “effectively the first major Republican out of the gate for 2012″.
Bloomberg says that Pawlenty is “the first major prospective candidate” in the Republican Party presidential race.
The Calgary Herald says that Pawlenty is “the first high-profile Republican to show serious intent to enter the U.S. presidential election”.
The Daily Mail refers to Pawlenty as “the first major candidate to announce a White House bid.”
What about Newt Gingrich? It was just a couple of weeks ago that Gingrich announced his own exploratory presidential campaign committee, but already, he has been forgotten. Newt Gingrich appears to be the Mike Gravel of the 2012 Republican presidential candidates.
Alex Pareene of Salon openly acknowledges the slight, writing “Pawlenty is the first mostly serious candidate to officially announce (sorry, Newt)”.
When political writers so consistently categorize a former Speaker of the House as not major, not serious, and not high profile, it’s a sign of a fairly widespread perception. Perhaps it’s time for Newt Gingrich to stop exploring the possibility of a 2012 presidential campaign. Perhaps it’s time for the Gingrich campaign to hire a publicist as effective as Pawlenty’s in putting forward a storyline that elevates him above his competitors.