The video: On Sunday, a day before his official announcement in Iowa, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) released a web video declaring his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination. (View the clip below.) Distinguished by a "soothing score and soft-lighted images," the rather mellow ad is "a change of pace for a candidate who's favored frenetic Michael Bay–esque productions in previous videos," says Kendra Marr at Politico. In the two-minute ad, Pawlenty outlines his blue-collar background, attacks President Obama's "fancy speeches," and promises to tell hard truths about the U.S. debt and jobs.

The reaction: Pawlenty isn't every Republican's dream candidate, but he is a fine addition to a "solid, relatively conservative" GOP field, says Erick Erickson at RedState. And after watching his video, "I am actually floored it is so well done." Well, T-Paw has "not being Mitt Romney" going for him, says David Goldstein at The Stranger. But "I'm not sure even ads as slick as these are enough to overcome the fact that he is Tim Pawlenty. I mean, remember his performance from the recent debate in South Carolina? Neither do I." Watch Pawlenty's big announcement: