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Ayers explains his decision

There has been plenty of discussion and intrigue about former Republican Governors Association executive director Nick Ayers' decision to be Tim Pawlenty's presidential campaign manager -- instead of work for Ayers' old RGA boss, Haley Barbour.

In a lengthy email to Politico's Ben Smith, Ayers explains his decision. Here's part of the email (as Smith observes, it comes off a bit like Ayers is the one running for president.) *** Correction *** Ayers' email was to friends and associates, and Smith got his hands on a copy.

These factors and others had virtually ruled out my engagement into a presidential campaign. It was going to be much easier to sit on the sidelines in Georgia, enjoy the fruits of the private sector, and cheer on all of my friends as they jostled for the Republican nomination for president. That path would have been politically safe, financially sound, and personally very comforting. But it was not the right one.

Over the past six months, I have prayed deeply about my purpose in life and how best to utilize the talents God has given me. I wanted my decision to be wholly about how best to serve Him, not what was most politically or financially expedient for my family and me. As He often does in walks of faith, He has called me to a higher purpose. I believe that our Nation is truly on the wrong path. We need a new direction that is positive and hopeful. Simply said, we need new leadership. I believe that Governor Pawlenty is best positioned to provide that leadership. Therefore, I am pleased today to join Governor and Mrs. Pawlenty in their pursuit of the presidency.

My decision does not mean I think less of Haley Barbour, Jon Huntsman, Mitch Daniels or Newt Gingrich should they decide to run, because I do not. I know them all personally and believe in their intellect, capabilities, and principles.