In another sign that he may soon jump into the fray as a Republican 2012 presidential candidate, former two-term Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty has released an 85-second video championing the Tea Party as "a welcome, helpful, energetic, forward leaning organization."
Entitled "Tea Party: A New Birth of Freedom," the ad, which was released online by Pawlenty's Freedom First PAC, intercuts footage of Pawlenty delivering impassioned speeches with animated Tea Party audiences ad and images of Ronald Reagan and the Lincoln Memorial. Underscored by swelling music and Pawlenty's sporadic narration, the Minnesota Republican lauds the Tea Party as "a great addition to the conservative coalition and the coalition for change in this country."
(Watch the video above.)
"They are part of the energy, the passion, the call for change, and they need it," Pawlenty says in the video.
The spot, which is notably reminiscent to one Sarah Palin(called "Tea Party"), is the most recent act in what appears to be a cross-country campaign aimed at raising the former governor's national profile: In January, Pawlenty went on a multi-state tour to promote his book, "Courage to Stand," and over the course of the past month he has made appearances at several high-profile conservative events -- including February's Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) and last weekend's Tea Party Patriots Summit in Phoenix, Arizona.
And while the social and fiscal conservative may not make an official announcement about his 2012 decision for days or weeks, he is headed to Iowa this week to participate in a presidential candidate forum organized by the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition--alongside fellow likely GOP contenders Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum and Herman Cain.