Jamie Dupree reports on T-Paw’s exit:

Two months ago, it didn’t seem to be going the wrong way for Pawlenty. I saw him on a damp evening in June in New Hampshire, where he lit up an Irish bar packed with voters in Derry.

Pawlenty had clearly made some headway in terms of organization, as there were a number of Republican Party officials from the area who were there that night.

As I said at the time, it seemed like a rally just days before the New Hampshire Primary, instead of an event a day before a GOP debate in June of an odd-numbered year.

Earlier that day, Pawlenty had linked President Obama and GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney on the health care issue, labeling their plans as “Obamney Care.” It seemed like a line that could work against the former Massachusetts Governor.

But the next day at the debate in Manchester, Pawlenty was given the chance to attack Romney in person over health care reform – and Pawlenty flinched.

He didn’t just swing and miss on the opportunity to criticize Romney, as Pawlenty stood there like the house on the side of the road and watched the pitch go by.

And that’s my take as well. In order to win the GOP nomination, a candidate needs to BEAT ROMNEY. We need a warrior. Not a diplomat. Not a wuss, no matter how well he may have governed Minnesota. If Pawlenty had gone after Romney on his Oh So Obvious vulnerabilities … Romneycare, flip flops on issues of life … the way he’s attacked Michele Bachmann in the past couple of weeks, I believe he would have had more support and momentum.

We are looking for a WARRIOR. It’s a new political era. We are in a freakin’ war. Get with it candidates!