News / USA

    Pawlenty To Join Republican Presidential Field

    With his wife Mary at his side, likely Republican presidential hopeful, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty speaks with reporters in Lebanon, N.H, March 11, 2011
    With his wife Mary at his side, likely Republican presidential hopeful, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty speaks with reporters in Lebanon, N.H, March 11, 2011

    In U.S. presidential politics, former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty is expected to formally join the 2012 race for president Monday with an announcement in the early contest state of Iowa.  Pawlenty’s entry into the race comes after two other prominent Republicans said "no" to a White House bid - former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee and New York businessman Donald Trump.  

    Pawlenty is little-known nationally but some political experts believe he could become a serious alternative for Republicans if the current frontrunner, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, falters.

    Pawlenty’s entry into the presidential race could stir up some excitement in what has been a slow-to-develop field of presidential candidates that currently includes former U.S. House speaker Newt Gingrich and Texas Congressman Ron Paul.

    The Pawlenty announcement comes three weeks after the U.S. commando raid that killed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden.  In that time, President Barack Obama’s public approval ratings have shot up while the Republican presidential field has struggled to sort itself out.

    President Obama is already going about the task of firing up Democratic loyalists for next year’s presidential campaign, as he did at a fundraiser in Massachusetts.

    “I want you to think about all the progress that we have made," said President Obama. "I want you to think about all the unfinished business that lies ahead.”

    Analysts see substantial domestic political benefits for the president after Osama bin Laden’s death.

    Political expert William Schneider appeared on a conference call sponsored by the bipartisan group No Labels.

    “One of the problems that Obama had when he became president was that people wondered does he have enough toughness?  Is he enough of a fighter?  Well the elimination of Osama bin Laden proved to a lot of people that he did.  It is something that Americans want.  They want a president to be strong and tough," said Schneider.

    In the Republican race, three high-profile contenders have bowed out recently, including former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, New York businessman Donald Trump and Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour.

    And some of those who decided to join the race are having some serious problems.

    Former House speaker Gingrich entered the race as one of the better-known national Republican figures.  But Gingrich has stumbled early on by criticizing Republican congressional plans to reform the popular health care system for the elderly known as Medicare.

    Conservatives slammed Gingrich for the comments and forced an apology.

    “I made a mistake," said Gingrich. "We are at the beginning of a process of solving the entitlement problems of the United States.”

    Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney has taken initial steps to join the race and he remains at the top of most public opinion polls rating the Republican contenders.

    But many conservative activists say they are not excited by the prospect of another Romney candidacy and are looking for alternatives.

    The confusion and uncertainty on the Republican side have some Democrats confident about President Obama’s re-election chances next year.

    David Rothkopf served in the Clinton administration and is an author and analyst who appeared on VOA’s Press Conference USA program.  He says the prospects for Mr. Obama’s re-election are directly related to an improving domestic economy.

    “Osama bin Laden’s death is going to be a distant memory in this election," said Rothkopf. "If, however, there is continuing [economic] progress and the Republicans continue to sort of fumble around to find an adequate opponent for the president, which is what it looks like right now, well, then the odds are pretty good that President Obama has a second term.”

    But more Republican contenders could join the presidential field in the coming weeks.

    Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin says she is still considering a White House bid, as is Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels.

    In addition, former Utah governor Jon Huntsman visited the early primary state of New Hampshire this past week and says he will decide soon whether to join the race.  Huntsman recently completed a tour as the U.S. ambassador to China.


    Jim Malone

    Jim Malone has served as VOA’s National correspondent covering U.S. elections and politics since 1995. Prior to that he was a VOA congressional correspondent and served as VOA’s East Africa Correspondent from 1986 to 1990. Jim began his VOA career with the English to Africa Service in 1983.

    You May Like

    Hope Remains for Rio Olympic Games, Despite Woes

    Facing a host of problems, Rio prepares for holding the games but experts say some risks, like Zika, may not be as grave as initially thought

    IS Use of Social Media to Recruit, Radicalize Still a Top Threat to US

    Despite military gains against IS in Iraq and Syria, their internet propaganda still commands an audience; US officials see 'the most complex challenge that the federal government and industry face'

    ‘Time Is Now’ to Save Africa’s Animals From Poachers, Activist Says

    During Zimbabwe visit, African Wildlife Foundation President Kaddu Sebunya says poaching hurts Africa as slave trade once did

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolatei
    X
    July 29, 2016 4:02 PM
    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolate

    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Tesla Opens Battery-Producing Gigafactory

    Two years after starting to produce electric cars, U.S. car maker Tesla Motors has opened the first part of its huge battery manufacturing plant, which will eventually cover more than a square kilometer. Situated close to Reno, Nevada, the so-called Gigafactory will eventually produce more lithium-ion batteries than were made worldwide in 2013. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Polio-affected Afghan Student Fulfilling Her Dreams in America

    Afghanistan is one of only two countries in the world where children still get infected by polio. The other is Pakistan. Mahbooba Akhtarzada who is from Afghanistan, was disabled by polio, but has managed to overcome the obstacles caused by this crippling disease. VOA's Zheela Nasari caught up with Akhtarzada and brings us this report narrated by Bronwyn Benito.
    Video

    Video Hillary Clinton Promises to Build a 'Better Tomorrow'

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton urged voters Thursday not to give in to the politics of fear. She vowed to unite the country and move it forward if elected in November. Clinton formally accepted the Democratic Party's nomination at its national convention in Philadelphia. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more.
    Video

    Video Trump Tones Down Praise for Russia

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is toning down his compliments for Russia and Vladimir Putin as such rhetoric got him in trouble recently. After calling on Russia to find 30.000 missing emails from rival Hillary Clinton, Trump told reporters he doesn't know Putin and never called him a great leader, just one who's better than President Barack Obama. Putin has welcomed Trump's overtures, but, as Zlatica Hoke reports, ordinary Russians say they are not putting much faith in Trump.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora