Surely it can be said that the Pawlenty team made some strategic errors. Lord knows I've expressed my dissatisfaction with how things were being handled. Philip Klein's analysis isn't far from my own, though I have a hard time seeing Pawlenty in the veep slot. (Not that I don't think he would be good at it.)
But whatever the Pawlenty campaign's faults, I can't let the pro-Romney "Republican establishment" entirely off the hook.
I don't want to hear that there isn't any "establishment". A guy doesn't raise ten million bucks in a day's worth of phone calls without there being an establishment on which to draw.
The Powers-That-Be should understand that a big chunk of the party isn't supportive of Romney, and that this tepid-at-best reaction will create issues in the general election. Had the proverbial old, cigar-smoking, rich, white men understood this, they might have looked for somebody else who fit the general profile of a conservative governor from a blue state who didn't irritate the base so much.
Well, they're a stubborn bunch, and the establishment has stuck with Romney. And instead of shepherding Pawlenty to the nomination with minimal friction, now they're dealing with Bachmann and Perry.
I think they could have handled Bachmann. Perry is going to be a bigger threat.
Personally, I'm leaning towards supporting Perry.