His email is certainly not without praise of Pawlenty. "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." The release from the Pawlenty side included a lot of information on Ayers' career accomplishments and background -- not unusual fare for a press release. But on a day when the news should be about Pawlenty landing another top strategist, the emphasis on Ayers' own arc is hard to miss. Ayers's full email: -----Original Message----- From: Nick Ayers Sent: Monday, April 11, 2011 8:37 AM To: Subject: My Next Step Friends, Today it has been announced that I have accepted the position of campaign manager for Governor Pawlenty's presidential exploratory effort. I could not be more excited about this candidate and the path ahead. I accepted the position with peace of mind and a deep confidence in the candidate, his family, and the mission ahead, but it was not an easy decision. I did not believe I would join a presidential campaign this cycle for a few reasons. Jamie and I wanted nothing more than to enjoy a quiet few years back home in Georgia with our friends, family, and church that we have missed so much while in Washington at the RGA. I was confident and hopeful Georgia would be the place where we would be permanently after the 2010 cycle. We have thoroughly enjoyed our time back in our home state since December. Running a presidential campaign would obviously pull us away from that. Also, opportunities in the private sector were serious and abundant and would have allowed me to achieve a degree of personal financial security that my family has not yet had (at least as much financial security as any of us can have during the Obama presidency). Last, I have other personal friends in addition to Governor Pawlenty that I respect who are running for president, or seriously considering it. The thought of making a public decision about supporting one of them I presumed would be difficult. 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. My decision to join the Pawlenty campaign is in total affirmation of Governor Pawlenty's record as a conservative, two-term governor of a blue state, his character and principles and his vision for this Nation, which is second to no one running for president. I am confident when Republican caucus-goers and primary voters begin seriously to examine what it is in a candidate that really matters, they will find that Governor Pawlenty is the complete package. Not only does his record in Minnesota match their priorities for the country, and his principles and integrity line up with theirs, but Republicans will also find that he is our best choice to unite the Party, compete in difficult regions of the country, and defeat President Obama. I would be remiss if I did not ask you to join me in this effort now. This is a man and a mission worthy of your early support. I would be grateful for it. Last, politics is important and is worthy of passionate debate. But I have learned throughout the years that it is oftentimes entirely too personal. After four years of waking up every day with the goal of trying to defeat Democrat gubernatorial candidates, I walked away from the RGA with a close personal friendship with Nathan Daschle, who ran the DGA, for those same four years. So outside of running a successful presidential campaign, I look forward to developing lifelong friendships with other donors, operatives, and public officials who care enough about America to fight for it. I have a lot more in common with those people -- Republicans and Democrats -- than those who do nothing to set the course of our nation's future. Thanks for your friendship and support over the years. I look forward to the journey ahead and our paths crossing again -- and hopefully soon! Nick Ayers
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