Pawlenty Unofficially Starting Presidential Race?

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It seems candidates are already firing up their campaigns in the 2012 race for the White House.

Probable presidential hopeful Tim Pawlenty is scheduled to be in Nevada on Monday. The former Republican Minnesota governor will meet with a small group of state's GOP operatives in a private Las Vegas home to talk about his new book.

Pawlenty wants Nevadans to know the story of his life and how he was raised. He wants them to know how the son of a South St. Paul truck driver made it to the governor's mansion.

Nevada is an early presidential primary state and Pawlenty has been hinting for months he will make a run for the White House.

He has a lot of work to do in Nevada to compete against Mitt Romney. Romney is seen by many political analysts as the GOP front-runner for president -- even though the campaign has not yet officially begun. The former Massachusetts governor won the Republican Party caucus in the Silver State in 2008. He is hoping for a repeat performance.

"Mitt Romney is a known quantity" in Nevada and across the country, Jennifer Duffy, an analyst with the Cook Political Report told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. "Not so Pawlenty. "What Pawlenty's doing is making friends. He's putting his face on the map; that's the main objective."

Pawlenty recently wowed conservatives at Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C. by taking a tough stance against President Barack Obama, and said he should stop apologizing for the country.

"Mr. President, with bullies, might makes right," Pawlenty said at the conference. "Strength makes them submit. Get tough on our enemies -- not on our friends.

"And, Mr. President, stop apologizing for our country," he added.

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