Discuss as:

Pawlenty takes another step

From NBC's Domenico Montanaro
On the road to 2012 there are several steps.

One is adjusting your tone to suit your base. Check.

Another is upping your profile -- with a new national position (check), hitting the cable and speaking circuits (check and check), and starting a political action committee (and now, that's a check).

Gov. Tim Pawlenty, widely rumored to be eyeing a presidential run in 2012 has done all of the above, including today launching a shiny, new PAC.

"Governor Pawlenty is in the process of starting the 'Freedom First' PAC," wrote Alex Conant, a Pawlenty adviser and former RNC official, in an e-mail. "I expect it will launch within the next few weeks. When the Governor said he wouldn't seek re-election, he said in addition to finishing his term strong, he would help other Republicans candidates, and obviously a PAC is one key way to do that. In recent weeks, he has spoken to various groups, campaigned with various candidates, and been elected vice-chair of the Republican Governors Association. Starting a PAC is a logistical next step, and one that he has talked about on the record several times."

It certainly is a logical next step.