Bachmann to debate on Twitter, Pawlenty bows out

Pawlenty won't show off his excellent Twittering tomorrow.

Pawlenty won't show off his excellent Twittering tomorrow.

Crippling headaches won't keep Michele Bachmann from participating in the first-ever "Twitter debate" tomorrow.

Tim Pawlenty, who feels no pain, will sit this one out, along with the Mormons -- Mitt Romney and Jon Hunstmaan -- and the cranky old guy, Ron Paul.

That puts Bachmann up against Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Gary Johnson, Thad McCotter and Herman Cain, most of whom don't have a snowball's chance in downtown Minneapolis. 

Tomorrow afternoon, each candidate will take questions via tweet, and attempt to answer them in, at most, two or three tweets.

Pawlenty refuses to be handcuffed like that. Today, he released an entire speech via Twitter, proving he doesn't really get the idea of Twitter, or speeches.
As Politico points out, the Twitter debate is perfect for candidates who are too lazy or too crazy to put out their own opinons: Without cameras on them, there's no way to tell which candidates are actually tweeting their own answers.

Pawlenty's withdrawal is odd for someone who's been like the Mike Tyson of Twitter. In May, when Barack Obama was in Europe, Pawlenty tweeted a shot at the president.

@BarackObama sorry to interrupt the European pub crawl, but what was your Medicare plan?less than a minute ago via Twitter for BlackBerry® Favorite Retweet Reply

Then, after Pawlenty passed on taking an in-person swipe at frontrunner Mitt Romney at the first Republican debate, he again flexed his typing fingers.

On seizing debate opportunity re: healthcare: Me 0, Mitt 1. On doing healthcare reform the right way as governor: Me 1, Mitt 0less than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet Reply

So, Pawlenty has no problem firing off when he's all alone, but can't field questions from the American tweeple? That doesn't sound like Commander in Chief material.

Pawlenty's speech today, which he referred to as a "Tweetnote," was directed at the American Jobs Conference. In the speech, Pawlenty proved that Twitter is the best way to throw out a bunch of outrageous claims and unsubstantiated numbers, without any context or clarity, and just move along like you've made your point.

Tweetnote #jobs4US: We need to reduce regulation for business. Federal regulations cost our economy 1.75T per year. That's unacceptable.less than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet Reply

The tweeted speech might have sounded like a good idea at one point. But it only works for people who are paying attention in real time, which -- given Pawlenty's poll numbers -- might not have amounted to much. But he must've forgotten that Twitter saves in reverse chronological order. Now, for the rest of time, everyone can go read Pawlenty's speech... backwards.

Nice try, Pawlenty. #whydontyoujustgiveupalready