About a month ago, former Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) was a national co-chair of Mitt Romney's presidential campaign, a high-profile surrogate, and a possible vice presidential nominee. As of this morning, Pawlenty has a very different kind of role in politics.
Tim Pawlenty, the former governor of Minnesota, is resigning as a national co-chairman of Mitt Romney's presidential campaign to take a job in Washington as a top lobbyist for a group representing banks and financial companies.
Mr. Palwenty's new role as President and C.E.O. of the Financial Services Roundtable was announced by the organization Thursday morning. In a statement, the group said that Mr. Pawlenty will step down from his role at Mr. Romney's campaign because the organization is bipartisan.
This really won't help with the "fleeing a sinking ship" talk. Indeed, it's been widely assumed that Pawlenty would be rewarded with a prominent role in a Romney administration if the Republican won in November. Perhaps Pawlenty no longer sees that as likely?
Indeed, the timing of the announcement seems especially odd -- Election Day is 47 days away. By resigning from Team Romney today, it gives the impression that Pawlenty couldn't wait to get away.
For that matter, it doesn't help Romney's larger image problems to have one of his closest political allies quit his campaign to begin lobbying for banks.