[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/10/07/art.pawlenty.1007.gi.jpg caption="Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty is speaking to the Iowa GOP on Saturday."]
(CNN) - It may be two years and two months until the next Iowa caucuses, but if you're considering a run for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, it's never to early to visit the Hawkeye State.
Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty is the keynote speaker Saturday at the Iowa GOP's annual leadership dinner in Des Moines. The function is one of two major events for the state's Republican Party. And as the fundraiser's main attraction, Pawlenty invites more speculation about a run for the White House.
The next day Mike Huckabee returns to Iowa. The former Arkansas governor and 2008 Republican presidential candidate visits on Sunday to promote his new holiday themed book, "A Simple Christmas: Twelve Stories that Celebrate the True Holiday Spirit."
Now a Fox News talk show host, Huckabee has returned to Iowa several times since his win in the 2008 caucuses, most recently to raise money for Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Vander Plaats.
On Tuesday, George Pataki returns to Iowa to help raise money for the GOP. The former New York governor will be the keynote speaker at the Scott County Republican's Ronald Reagan Dinner. Pataki's visit could fuel speculation that he's interested in making a run for his party's presidential nomination in 2012. Pataki spent a lot of time in Iowa during the early stages of the last presidential election cycle, but opted not to become a candidate.
Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter @psteinhausercnn
soundoff (No Responses)