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Tim Pawlenty Making Presidential Exploratory Committee Move

Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty is to make it official Monday afternoon that he's forming a presidential exploratory committee, which means he's getting closer to launching an all-out run for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.

Pawlenty's Facebook and Twitter pages are alerting his followers to a "special message" scheduled for 3 pm ET.

For months now, Pawlenty has sounded like he's been seriously exploring a presidential run. Announcing that he will officially have an exploratory committee is another way for the former governor to get some headlines as well as raise and spend money without having an official presidential campaign.

Peter Grier of the Christian Science Monitor explains why presidential wannabees start exploratory committees.

Meanwhile, Jeff Zeleny at the New York Times recently took a look at the 50-year old former governor out on the hustings, looking and sounding for all the world like a presidential candidate.

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Frank James joined NPR News in April 2009 to launch the blog, "The Two-Way," with co-blogger Mark Memmott.