When Tim Pawlenty publishes his second quarter fundraising disclosure on a Friday afternoon heading into a long holiday weekend, as reporters are cracking beers along with everyone else, you know he'd rather the story just die a quiet death.
But it hasn't. That's because T-Paw hauled in just $4.2 million over three months -- a figure his spokesman promptly tried to compare to Republican presidential candidates in 2007, not 2012.[jump]
No wonder. He barely surpassed John Hunstman, who just got into the race this month, and who even worked for the Obama administration as an ambassador to China. Huntsman raised $4.1 million -- without hardly trying -- ABC news reports.
This is pretty embarrassing for the much-vaunted GOP insiders running Team T-Paw, especially since it follows the news that the campaign's budget is so tight that staffers aren't even getting paid.
The number was "slightly off" of what Pawlenty's spokesman described to the Washington Post as the campaign's "goal" of raising $4.5 million for the quarter. And he admitted that the GOP's big money donors were looking at candidates like Pawlenty and not yet seeing a horse they want to back against Barack Obama.
Pawlenty didn't even have to release the numbers today; they're not due until July 15. But that's about the time that Mitt Romney's expected to talk about a roughly $20 million haul. And fundraising dominatrix Michele Bachmann is also likely to make T-Paw's campaign look small and submissive.
Might as well toss the bad news out early so the garbage men can hustle it to the dump early.