Invisible primary

Pawlenty Readies 2012 Team

Sure, we inaugurated a new president just nine months ago, but it's already time to start thinking about 2012 and Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty looks likely to be the first to throw his hat into the ring. On Thursday, Pawlenty—or T-Paw as he’s known to fans—launched his political action committee called Freedom First and he’s expected to announce the support of high-level political strategists and donors, including former top-level Bush political consultants Terry Nelson, Sara Taylor, and Phil Musser. In order to build national campaign infrastructure, Pawlenty has been reaching out to prominent Republicans, including former backers of former Mass. Governor Mitt Romney, who is considered to be his only viable rival, as many Republicans believe Mike Huckabee and Sarah Palin would be nonstarters in a general election.