Governor Tim Pawlenty is among five U.S. governors on a high-security trip to Iraq to survey conditions as troops prepare to leave the country next year.
Pawlenty disclosed the trip to reporters on Wednesday. Pawlenty says briefings from military officials and his meetings with soldiers convince him that the situation on the ground is “heading in a hopeful direction.”
He says he traveled with Govs. Deval Patrick of Massachusetts, Jay Nixon of Missouri, Mike Rounds of South Dakota and Jim Douglas of Vermont. Pawlenty, Douglas and Rounds are Republicans. Nixon and Patrick are Democrats.
This is Pawlenty fifth visit to Iraq.
Pawlenty has less than six months left in his second term and is not seeking re-election, but he is a potential presidential candid