From NBC's Huma Zaidi and Mark Murray
Sen. John McCain's exploratory committee announced this morning that Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty will serve as the national co-chair of McCain's campaign, if he runs for president.
Pawlenty narrowly won reelection last fall during the Democratic wave that took down Republicans across the country, including in Minnesota. Calling him "a good friend and a great leader," McCain said he would depend on Pawlenty's advice during a possible presidential campaign.
We'll be hearing a lot more fom Pawlenty in the future. His state will host the GOP convention in Minneapolis-St. Paul next year and Pawlenty is mentioned as a possible GOP vice presidential nominee. This summer, Pawlenty will also become chairman of the National Governors Association.