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Pawlenty's Political Book Tour

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Outgoing Gov. Tim Pawlenty, R-Minn., is about to head out on a book tour that will stop in key presidential battleground states.(Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Despite the fact that it stops in nearly every important presidential state, outgoing Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) said Monday that his upcoming book tour is not about presidential politics.

Pawlenty, who leaves the governor's mansion on Monday, gave an interview to Minnesota Public Radio that is sparking some interest on the Internet.

In it, Pawlenty flatly denies that his book tour, which is scheduled to start next Thursday in Washington, has anything to do with his presidential aspirations.

"I know everybody's trying to say that the book tour is about politics," he said, "but I think of the 30 or more days that I will be promoting the book across the country, I think only two days are in New Hampshire or Iowa."

"There may be political stops that we do," he went on, "but the primary purpose of the tour is to promote the book and to try to generate interest in the book."

But as we noted recently, Pawlenty's book tour is tailor made for a presidential contender. He has stops in both important primary states -- Iowa and New Hampshire -- and general election battlegrounds -- Florida and Ohio. He'll also spend a few days in Texas, which is a pivotal fundraising state for a Republican presidential contender.

Perhaps more interestingly, Pawlenty also acknowledged that he has a relatively low national profile compared to other potential nominees.

"This idea of name ID across the country -- if you are a serious candidate for president, whoever might run, those people will be well known over the course of time," he said.

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