Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty Endorses John Kasich and Jim Renacci
From Chris Cillizza in the Washington Post:
Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty will back former Ohio Rep. John Kasich’s bid for governor and Jim Renacci’s challenge to Ohio Rep. John Boccieri on Friday, the latest in a series of Midwestern endorsements from the all-but-certain 2012 presidential candidate.
Pawlenty — through his Freedom First PAC — had previously endorsed former Rep. Rob Portman, who is running for the Senate in the Buckeye State, and former Ohio Rep. Steve Chabot, who is trying to reclaim the Cincinnati-area seat he lost in 2008.
For the past decade, Ohio has been the swingiest of swing states; George W. Bush’s slim margin there over Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) in 2004 handed him a second term, although in the wake of that victory Democrats have scored across the board victories for governor, Senate and several U.S. House seats in 2006 and 2008.
Pawlenty’s focus on Ohio is part of a broader strategic effort to use the power of his endorsements — and the donations that come with them — to build an image as a governor from the center of the country who understands the hopes and fears of people who live in that area, which also happens to be the central battleground in the 2012 presidential race.
The endorsement of Kasich makes perfect sense for Pawlenty- As not only do they both have a folsky, cheerful conservative style… they also both like to talk a lot about their attractive wives. Kasich noted at the Dublin rally last Saturday that his wife is, in fact, hot and jokingly informed the audience he wouldn’t share his secrets to meeting women.