Tim Pawlenty Is No Peyton Manning

I was planning to write something explaining why the Iowa Republican Straw Poll was like National Football League Preseason games.


I was going to say that neither has even a mediocre record of predicting success by pointing to the fact that only one winner of the Straw Poll has ever been elected President and that the San Francisco Forty Niners were the NFL Preseason champs last year at 4-0 and finished the regular season 6-10.


Then, I was planning to argue that the motivation behind both is the same – greed!


Here’s how the PBS Newshour described the Straw Poll –




The event originated as a money-making venture by the state GOP. Mark Miller, who was the state party finance director in 1987 said "The Iowa straw poll was devised as a fund-raising gimmick for the state party and nothing more than that." It costs $25 to vote, which means that the party will raise $375,000 if the expected 15,000 people show up.

The one sure-fire winner Saturday will be Ames itself. The Chamber of Commerce is hoping the event will pour more than $3 million into the local economy. The 11,006 hotel rooms in Ames are all booked.

And here’s something about the NFL Preseason rip-off  


Currently, every NFL team requires its season ticket holders to purchase tickets at full price for two exhibition games as a requirement to purchase regular-season tickets. Complaints regarding this policy have gone all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, but have failed to change the policy. A judgment in 1974 stated: "No fewer than five lawsuits have been instituted from Dallas to New England, each claiming that the respective National Football League (NFL) team had violated the Sherman Act by requiring an individual who wishes to purchase a season ticket for all regular season games to buy, in addition, tickets for one or more exhibition or preseason games."[5]

Additionally, some players, coaches, and journalists, and numerous fans, object to the 4-week exhibition schedule. Players have little monetary incentive to play in exhibitions, since they are paid only a training-camp per diem for these games. Their salaries do not begin until the regular season, and thus they are essentially playing in exhibitions "for free". In spite of this, the risk of injury during the exhibition season is just as great as during the regular season. Regardless of these objections, owners continue to endorse the four-game exhibition season. The games are an easy source of revenue, and thus are unlikely to be dispensed within the foreseeable future.[6


But then, Governor Tim Pawlenty dropped out of the race for President because he finished 3rd in the Straw Poll.


That convinced me that I should instead point out the difference between the Straw Poll and the NFL –


Participants in the NFL are not as stupid as participants in the Straw Poll!


For example, Peyton Manning didn’t retire last year when the Indianapolis Colts finished 0-4 in Preseason nor did he contemplate doing so in any of the previous 4 years when they won only one game each year!