Governor Pawlenty traveled the country cheerleading for Mitt Romney. He swallowed his pride and lavishly praised one of the least likeable presidential candidates in modern history, hoping to finally move up from Groomsman to Best Man. He had the power tie Double Windsored, and was pumped to be on the Sunday talk shows, with the pundits predicting he was the frontrunner.
But alas, it was not to be. Again.
Four years ago, when Pawlenty was passed up for Sarah Palin, he recalled this glum little scene somewhere on an Eagan cul de sac:
Just after I got off the phone with McCain, I took our dog out for a walk so she could do her dog’s duty…As I put the little bag over my hand and bent down to pick up her poop, I thought to myself, Well, this is the only number two I’ll be picking up today.
But this time, Mr. Pawlenty should have seen the brush off coming. After all, how in the world do you compete with a guy who cuts the boss’s tax rate to 1%?
Actually, 0.82%. That’s the effective tax rate, Mathew O’Brien at The Atlantic points out, that millionare Mitt would pay under Paul Ryan’s budget proposal, instead of the 13.9% he paid under the Bush tax rates. Now, a 14% tax rate for a multi-millionaire might seem plenty shameful to most of us, but Congressman Ryan was savvy enough to sweeten the deal, and win the race to the bottom. The Atlantic explains:
”How would someone with more than $21 million in taxable income pay so little? Well, the vast majority of Romney’s income came from capital gains, interest, and dividends. And Ryan wants to eliminate all taxes on capital gains, interest and dividends.”
In the Republican Party, “1% for the 1%” is a proposition that is nearly impossible to top. It makes the hearts of millionaire candidates and Super PAC funders go pitter-patter.
So, Governor Pawlenty, as you bent over the family dog’s offering this weekend, I hope you took solace in the knowledge that this time you never stood a chance.