A Tip of the Toque to Gabriel Malor at Ace of Spades HQ.
Oh, goody! Pawlenty endorses Hoffman, now Hoffman has a chance! Pawlenty will attract moderates who were undecided! Our savior!
Pawlenty did this because, frankly, he can't afford not to. Palin forced his hand. He wants to run in 2012, and whether it's as a candidate or a kingmaker, the 'cuda's established herself as a force to be reckoned with.
If she plays kingmaker, he needs to curry her favor by appearing to have all the proper Conservative cred.
If she runs, he can't let her take too much of a lead so soon, can't seem to have been "scooped" by her. If Hoffman wins, it's a feather in Palin's cap, and Pawlenty is trying to put an asterisk by Palin's assist -- "Yeah, she endorsed him, but who didn't? Who's to say it was her endorsement and not mine that put him over the top?" But I don't think the people he's trying to impress (conservatives) are going to be fooled.
As for the NRCC, who is endorsing a liberal RINO, screw 'em. We don't need a RINO to win over moderates -- we need a principled conservative who understands where to give a little and where to stand firm on principles.
When he was still alive, my father loved to watch football, rooted for his favorite teams passionately. But nothing pissed him off worse than when a team would sit on a lead. He especially hated the "Prevent Defense" -- he called it the "Prevent Winning Defense" He drilled it into me -- you don't play to not lose, you play to win.
The GOP is playing to not lose -- it's bending over backwards (and often just plain bending over) to avoid alienating anyone who might have at any point in the past, or might be considering anytime in the future, voting for anyone in ANY race who happens to have an "R" next to their name. Meanwhile, we're failing to stand up for the very things that once defined us as conservatives, and we're STILL not winning, because now the party is alienating the people it once felt it could safely rely on.