Shannon Stapleton/AP Photo
T-Paw giving a speech last month in front of a giant picture of Mitt Romney's face.
Tim Pawlenty, The Last Word's favorite mild-mannered man from Minnesota, officially ditched his position as co-chair of the Romney campaign Thursday to become a Wall Street lobbyist.
With just 47 days to go until the presidential election, the former Minnesota governor announced his decision to head up the Financial Services Roundtable in a joint statement with the Romney campaign.
T-Paw said he had to leave because his new job "does not allow me to participate in partisan campaign activities." He continued, "My work with Mitt has been a privilege. Mitt Romney is a truly good man and great leader. As the campaign moves into the home stretch, he has my full support and continued faith in his vision and his policies."
Former rival Romney referred to T-Paw as a "dear friend" in the press release. "He's brought energy, intelligence and tireless dedication to every enterprise in which he's ever been engaged, and that certainly includes my presidential campaign," Romney said in the written statement. "While I regret he cannot continue as co-chair of my campaign, his new position advancing the integrity of our financial system is vital to the future of our country. I congratulate him on his new position and wish him every success in carrying out his new mission."
Pawlenty became the first Republican candidate to drop out of the 2012 presidential race. And before Paul Ryan came along, he told
The Last Word he wouldn't even consider a VP slot.
It was the widely held belief on The Last Word that T-Paw would ultimately bag the nomination, not Willard M. Romney. Despite his ill-conceived "Google tests" and cheesy attempts to appear "hip" by name-dropping Lady Gaga songs, he was just the nice guy who told dagger jokes on TV.