Former GOP Gov. Tim Pawlenty announced at 2 p.m. today via his Facebook page that he is establishing an exploratory committee as part of a possible run for the White House in 2012. He created a video for his announcement, which you can see here.
The video starts with Pawlenty talking about growing up in South St. Paul and watching the meatpacking plants disappear.
"At a young age, I saw up close the face of challenge, the face of hardship, the face of job loss," Pawlenty says in the video.
He says he sees those same challenges in America today but that "there is a brighter future for America. We know what we need to do — grow jobs, limit government spending and tackle entitlements."
Key images in the video include Pawlenty suited up in hockey gear on the ice, Republican President Ronald Reagan, the Lincoln Memorial, American flags and a close-up on a church.
Democrats wasted no time reacting to Pawlenty's news. Four minutes after the big announcement, DFL State Chair Ken Martin issued this statement:
"Our former governor's announcement of an Exploratory Committee shouldn't be a surprise to anyone at this point — he's spent the better part of his last two years in office ignoring the needs of his state while trying to woo the Republican base. Tim Pawlenty bankrupt the future of our state, the last thing he deserves is a chance to do it to our nation.