Tim Pawlenty leads Michele Bachmann in New Hampshire GOP poll

Maybe Tim Pawlenty's media blitz is paying off after all.

In New Hampshire, home of the first primary in the presidential race, just placed third in a GOP straw poll of possible White House contenders. He's behind Mitt Romney and Ron Paul, but ahead of Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann.

He must be selling a few more books, too.

"Courage to Stand" has bumped George W. Bush's "Decision Points" off the No. 1 spot in the Washington Post's Political Bookworm bestseller list. That seems odd, though. because The Post cites figures from Nielsen BookScan, which just last week aid T-Paw had only flogged off 5,000 copies of his memoir.

This has to put a smile on Pawlenty's face; he's been carefully building a national profile for months as a presidential candidate, often only to see anemic poll numbers. Bachmann, meanwhile, seems to be on every cable TV show 24 hours a day, teasing everyone that she might run for president. She's even staging her own State of the Union address.

Meanwhile, the media blitz continues. He penned an opinion piece for the Washington Post on Friday calling for cuts in entitlement programs. And he got some free air time on the Fox News "Journal Report" over the weekend.

And talk about your perfect timing: T-Paw's scheduled to be making speeches and signing copies of the book today and tomorrow in New Hampshire. Presumably he's carrying along a truckload of "thank you" notes.

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