Minnesota governor and possible 2012 presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty is about to campaign for Virginia gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell (R) this afternoon.

McDonnell is seeking a high-profile boost from Pawlenty, who is vice president of the Republican Governors Association. The former Virginia Attorney General has drawn fire recently for his graduate thesis written 20 years ago that was critical of working women and non-traditional families.

The Republican tweeted Wednesday afternoon:

In Richmond about to hold a press conference with @TimPawlenty #vagov

The AP reported yesterday that Pawlenty would appear with McDonnell. The Minnesota governor is scheduled to appear at a private fundraiser in Richmond and at two other campaign events in northern and central Virginia, without McDonnell.

Pawlenty's appearance could also boost his national visibility as he lays the groundwork for a presidential run in 2012. He also joined New Jersey gubernatorial hopeful Chris Christie on the trail last week.

Regarding McDonnell's thesis, Pawlenty said "I think he has disclaimed those comments in the sense that he is saying it was a long time ago and he has evolved his thinking on those things."