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GOP watch: T-Paw in the spotlight

Tim Pawlenty, who last week assumed the No. 2 job at the Republican Governors Association, is set to give a speech today before the Republican National Committee at its retreat in San Diego. Minnesota Public Radio says it "represents a key opportunity for the Minnesota governor to raise his national profile and make his pitch to the party faithful."

The AP looks at Pawlenty's ambition: "The two-term fiscal and social conservative is taking necessary steps toward a possible presidential bid -- headlining GOP fundraisers, taking an influential job at the Republican Governors Association, mulling his own political action committee. But Pawlenty says he's focused on the party, not 2012." But it notes: "[H]is track record of GOP building in Minnesota is less than stellar. Republicans have lost ground in every election since he became governor in 2003. He is the sole statewide GOP officeholder and his party controls its fewest legislative seats since 1992. Pawlenty himself narrowly survived a three-way election contest to win his second term. But the governor said that's not his fault."