Pawlenty inches closer to official presidential bid

Pawlenty has spent the past several months making appearances across the country and on television to raise his national profile.

Conor Shine

Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty took another step toward a 2012 presidential run Monday when he announced he is forming an exploratory committee.
In a fast-paced, two-minute video posted on Facebook, Pawlenty reflected on his Minnesota upbringing and the âÄúchallengesâÄù currently facing the country before making the announcement.
Backed by a dramatic soundtrack and interspersed with images of Ronald Reagan and of the former governor playing hockey, PawlentyâÄôs said in the videoâÄôs voiceover that the country needs to âÄúgrow jobs, limit spending and tackle entitlements.âÄù
Pawlenty, a University of Minnesota alumnus, has spent the past several months making appearances across the country and on television to raise his national profile.  
The announcement is an attempt to build momentum for Pawlenty and shove him into the spotlight ahead of other potential Republican candidates, Larry Jacobs, director of the Humphrey Institute’s Center for the Study of Politics and Governance, said in an email.

Pawlenty is the second candidate to form an exploratory committee, after former U.S. Rep. Newt Gingrich of Georgia.