It has been attributed to Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest that his military strategy was: “Git thar fustest with the mostest.” Forrest may never have uttered those exact words, but the notion that “speed kills” — a saying popularized in the political world by Clinton campaign adviser James Carville — probably still applies to warfare and politics.
Which GOP candidate seems to have grasped this lesson best? As people were sitting down at their computers this morning, first learning about President Obama’s 2012 campaign announcement video, the campaign of Tim Pawlenty was releasing their video response.
Mitt Romney fired back on Twitter, but Pawlenty was, unless I’m mistaken, the first likely GOP presidential candidate to respond to Obama’s video with his own. This was not the first time Pawlenty was the first GOP candidate to respond to something breaking. In fact, if memory serves, he is usually the first to comment on major news — from a natural disaster to the firing of DC public school chancellor Michelle Rhee.
This, of course, matters because it implies a nimble and aggressive campaign — which will be needed to take on Obama. Narratives develop quicker than ever in this 24-hour news cycle, and Pawlenty is demonstrating that his team can hustle.
“President Obama’s campaign in 2008 taught Republicans a lot,” says senior Pawlenty aide Phil Musser. “Creativity matters. Speed matters. And technology is a game changer.”