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Pawlenty Moves to 2012 Presidential Bid | Alive Literary

Pawlenty Moves to 2012 Presidential Bid

Tim Pawlenty

Tim Pawlenty

March 21, 2011–Tim Pawlenty, the former two-term Minnesota governor, today took the formal step toward his bid for President by establishing an exploratory committee. The video announcement, made on his Facebook page this afternoon, allows Pawlenty to hire staff and raise money for his widely anticipated run for the Republican nomination and, ultimately, to face-off with Barack Obama in 2012.

“At a young age, I saw up close the face of challenge, the face of hardship and the face of job loss,” Pawlenty said in his two-minute video message, appealing to those facing economic insecurity and calling for backers to help him “take back our government.”

Pawlenty, 50, is the son of a truck-driving father and a mother who died of cancer when he was 16. Raised in the meatpacking town of South St. Paul that was devastated by layoffs in his youth, he worked in a grocery to pay his way through college. His first venture into politics was on the local planning commission and city council, followed by 10 years in the Minnesota House where he served as majority leader before becoming governor in 2002.

“Over the past year I’ve traveled to nearly every state in the country and I know many Americans are feeling that way today. I know that feeling. I lived it. But there is a brighter future for America,” he said, adding: “We, the people of the United States, will take back our government. This is our country. Our founding fathers created it. Americans embraced it. Ronald Reagan personified it. And Lincoln stood courageously to protect it. That’s why today, I’m announcing the formation of an exploratory committee to run for president of the United States. Join the team and together we’ll restore America.”

The Associated Press commented: “Pawlenty’s announcement of the exploratory committee almost certainly will lead to a full-blown candidacy for the GOP nomination in a field that has been slow to form. The winner would face the daunting task of unseating an incumbent president.”

Pawlenty, who released his memoir, Courage to Stand, in January, has been on an extended cross-country book tour that has taken him to early voting states like Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina to build support. His memoir immediately hit #1 on Washington Post’s bestsellers list, and sparked widespread exposure in national print, TV and radio outlets.

“His book signings and speaking engagements have been something of a faux campaign in advance of an all-in decision and stirred tremendous interest in his story and voting record,” said Alive’s president Rick Christian, who negotiated the book deal. “It’s built his name recognition and made him a fixture at Republican events.”

As the first major Republican candidate to file papers with the Federal Election Commission, Pawlenty catapults ahead of other potential contenders to win over party activists and generate support toward the early contests next year.–RC

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