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Election 101: Tim Pawlenty as 'everyman's' candidate? Ten points about who he is.

Tim Pawlenty wants a White House ending to his rags-to-riches rise. The former governor declared his candidacy for president May 22 in a video released on his website. The grandson of German immigrants and the first in his family to attend college, Pawlenty is hoping his foes’ flaws are his ticket to victory.

- Husna HaqCorrespondent

Governor Tim Pawlenty, a Republican from Minnesota, speaks to the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) during their annual meeting in Washington, on February 19, 2010. (Joshua Roberts/Reuters)

1. Who is he, anyway?

Pawlenty is the star of a classic up-by-the-bootstraps story. The grandson of German immigrants and the son of a milk truck driver father and a stay-at-home mom who died when he was 16, Pawlenty is one of five children raised in a working-class St. Paul neighborhood and the first in his family to attend college. After a difficult chemistry class rerouted his dream of becoming a dentist, Pawlenty became a lawyer, dabbled in business, and entered local and state politics. As Minnesota governor he balanced the state’s $4.3 billion deficit without raising taxes and was on the short list to become John McCain’s running mate in 2008.


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