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With video, Pawlenty makes it official

Pawlenty’s in.

In a film-trailer-like, two-minute web video released on his Facebook page Monday afternoon, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty announced the formation of a presidential exploratory committee and made the case that his experience as a Midwestern governor well equips him to grow jobs and repair the nation’s economy.

“We the people of the United States will take back our government. This is our country,” he narrates, extolling the contributions of the founding fathers and presidents Reagan and Lincoln. “That’s why today I am announcing the formation of an exploratory committee to run for president of the United States.”

Governor Tim Pawlenty announces his Presidential Exploratory Committee on Facebook on March 21, 2011

The video is heavy on his Minnesota upbringing, with Pawlenty noting that his hometown community of St. Paul was marked by the decline of stockyards and meatpacking plants during his childhood. “At a young age, I saw up close the face of change, the face of hardship, the face of job loss. Over the last year, I’ve traveled to nearly every state in the country, and I know many Americans are feeling that way today. I know that feeling. I lived it.”

But, he says, there's hope for recovery.

“We know what we need to do: grow jobs, limit government spending, and tackle entitlements,” he narrates in the video.

With the announcement, the former Minnesota governor becomes the second third GOP candidate to form an exploratory committee. Former Godfather's Pizza CEO Herman Cain announced one earlier this year, as did former Louisiana governor Buddy Roemer.

*** UPDATE *** NBC's Lauren Selsky has the full text of the video's narration:

I grew up a few miles from here, and back then it was home to some of the world's largest stockyards and meatpacking plants but when those plants shut down so did a big part of the spirit and the soul of my hometown. At a young age I saw up close the face of challenge, the face of hardship,and the face of job loss. Over the last year I've traveled to nearly every state in the country and I know many Americans are feeling that way today. I know that feeling, I lived it. But there is a brighter future for America. We know what we need to do, grow jobs, limit government spending, and tackle entitlements. We need to encourage the dreamers and innovators, the small business owners the hard workers, the brave men and women throughout this country's history that have asked for nothing more than the freedom to work hard and get ahead without government getting in the way. For the last 8 years that's just what I did here in Minnesota. We proved that we can restore limited government in America. It takes fortitude it takes unwavering faith and conviction in faith and principles that made this country great. This country was founded on freedom. We the people of the United States will take back our govt. this is our country. Our founding fathers created it, Americans embraced it, Ronald Reagan personified it and Lincoln stood courageously to protect it. And that's why today I'm announcing the formation of an exploratory committee to run for president of the United States.

Join the team and together we'll restore America.