Tim Pawlenty Ditches Romney for CEO Gig He'll head up powerful financial services lobbying group By Kevin Spak, Newser Staff Posted Sep 20, 2012 10:07 AM CDT 37 comments Comments Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty addresses the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2012. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) (Newser) – Passed over for vice president, Tim Pawlenty is getting out of Team Romney altogether and cashing in: He's stepping down as co-chairman of Romney's campaign to accept a job as CEO of the Financial Services Roundtable, one of the most powerful lobbying groups in DC, the Hill reports. Romney gave Pawlenty a glowing send-off, saying in a statement that he "brought energy, intelligence, and tireless dedication to every enterprise in which he's ever been engaged, and that certainly includes my presidential campaign." The firm, which until now was helmed by Steve Bartlett, represents 100 of Wall Street's biggest firms. "I think this is the sexiest CEO job going around in the association space," one analyst said last week. Until now, Pawlenty had been considered a shoe-in for a top job in a hypothetical Romney administration, according to the Wall Street Journal, which also notes, with a touch of implied irony, that Pawlenty spent much of his campaigning days touting his middle class roots.