Tim Pawlenty is now the first major GOP presidential candidate to air TV ads in Iowa. The former Minnesota governor has bought $50,000 of air time to run the above 30-second spot, which begins today on Fox News, Politico's Ben Smith reports.

The ad focuses on his record as governor of a blue state and highlights his dealings with state-employees' unions, a note he likes to hit in speeches. It carries the trademark, clean aesthetics that will likely dominate Pawlenty's 2012 promotions, produced by young political video-maker Lucas Baiano.

While Pawlenty is the first major 2012 candidate on the air in the Hawkeye State, he's not the first candidate, period. Former GOP strategist Fred Karger, the first openly gay candidate to seek the GOP presidential nomination, aired ads in Iowa last year.