I tend to be a good prognosticator when it comes to predicting presidential races. In 2004, I said John Kerry would be the perfect candidate for the Democratic nomination when he was wallowing away in single digits. While he turned out to be far from the perfect candidate in the general election, many other Democrats felt during the primary, as I had, that he would be perfect. Kerry won the nomination on that peculiar quality called "electability."
More impressively, I was sure early on that Barack Obama and John McCain would win their respective nominations in 2008. Though Obama was trailing Hillary Clinton by 20 points nationally, I knew he'd win. McCain was trailing more candidates, but, especially when Huckabee won Iowa, it was clear that McCain would get the nod.
I thought Tim Pawlenty would win the nomination in 2012. I was dead wrong. While the other candidates all have a glaring weakness heading into the general election, should they make it that far, I figured Republicans would go with the most "electable." I figured that was Pawlenty, who has had a track record of being reasonable. He also "looks the part."
When Pawlenty failed to capitalize on his attack of Mitt Romney, Republicans had a vision of Pawlenty rolling over in front of Obama during the general election and refused to get behind him. Pawlenty's shift to the right hurt him as well. Michelle Bachmann's conservative cred is higher. Pawlenty could have beaten her by staying moderate. Republicans will eventually wise up and realize that Bachmann would have no shot at winning the presidency because of the numerous crazy statements she has made.
Pawlenty would have been the candidate tfor Republicans who wanted a Romney-type to represent them, but balked at Romney's Mormonism. But he didn't portray himself as the anti-Bachmann or the non-Mormon Romney. Instead, he became a weak flip flopper. No Republican is going to get behind bizarro John Kerry.