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Mar 24th, 2011

Eye on 2012

Michele Bachmann Likely to Form Presidential Exploratory Committee

Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann is likely to form an exploratory committee to run for president in 2012. (Photo credit: Melina Mara / Washington Post)

By Rachel Weiner and Chris Cillizza
The Fix blog
The Washington Post
March 24, 2011


Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) is likely to form a presidential exploratory committee, two advisers said Thursday. The committee could be formed as soon as May but no later than June.

“The size and enthusiasm of the crowds she has been attracting is very encouraging,” said Ed Brookover, a consultant to Bachmann. “The voters are telling her to keep pushing forward with her fight to stop this unparalleled growth of government.”

Bachmann is currently in Iowa, speaking to grassroots activists and state legislators. This morning she addressed the state Senate caucus and has secured the support of Iowa state Sen. Kent Sorenson. …

Bachmann has made a national name for herself thanks in part to her outspoken — and unapologetic — conservatism. [Note: That’s only part of the story] …

Bachmann has not built up the infrastructure traditionally used to win over primary and caucus voters. Until now, she’s relied primarily on her own family as a campaign team.

“The only person she talks to as an insider is her husband, Marcus, who’s a wonderful man, and her son Lucas,” former Minnesota Republican Party Chair Ron Carey, who served as Bachmann’s chief of staff last year, told the Star-Tribune. “That’s really her brain trust.”

Brookover is, however, a well known commodity in Republican political circles and there are some indications that Bachmann is building a campaign team that could help her navigate the difficult process of running for president. She also has a network of tea party activists across the country. …

It’s not yet clear whether Bachmann would abandon her House seat if she ran for president; if not, she could face a real race in a seat that clearly tilts toward Republicans but is by no means a lock for her in a presidential year.

Full story


Related reports

CNN Exclusive: Bachmann to form exploratory committee in June, possibly earlier (, March 24, 2011)

Bachmann 2012? No decision yet, but leaning…
(NBC News “First Read,” March 24, 2011)


Bachmann 2012 (MSNBC “The Ed Show,” March 24, 2011) — Michele Bachmann 45th President of the United States? (06:57)


Bachmann leaning towards 2012 run … maybe (MSNBC “Hardball,” March 24, 2011 ) — Tea Party Caucus founder Rep. Michele Bachmann is on a swing through Iowa this week, and today, her advisors told reporters she may form a presidential exploratory committee in May or June. Howard Fineman of the Huffington Post and author Ron Reagan join Hardball’s Chris Matthews to discuss. (10:37)


Bachmann running in 2012? (MSNBC “The Last Word,” March 24, 2011) — We can now use “Michele Bachmann” and “presidential exploratory committee” in the same sentence. Slate reporter Dave Weigel joins Lawrence O’Donnell with analysis. (08:19)


4/11/11 Update

Republican Lawmakers Sour on 2012 Field

By Jonathan Martin Logo - Click to return to home page
April 11, 2011

Hill Republicans aren't ready to nominate Michele Bachmann, Donald Trump (center) or Mitt Romney. (AP photos)
Hill Republicans aren’t ready to nominate Michele Bachmann, Donald Trump (center) or Mitt Romney. (Photo credit: The Associated Press via Politico)

A presidential primary favorite is emerging among the ranks of congressional Republicans: none of the above. …

Interviews on both sides of the Capitol have revealed widespread concern about the lackluster quality of the current crop of candidates and little consensus on who Republican senators and House members would like to see in the race. …

Another, more subtle indicator of the congressional GOP’s heartburn over the looming presidential campaign can be detected in the quips about some of the prospective candidates who are soaking up media attention.

“Well, I thought everybody had rallied around [Rep.] Michele Bachmann — that was my sense,” deadpanned Dreier when asked about where his fellow House Republicans stand on the presidential race. …

Full story


Related reports on this site

Tea Party Presidential Primary (March 3, 2011)

U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann arrives with her husband, Marcus, at a state GOP fundraiser on March 12, 2011 in Nashua, N.H. (Photo: Associated Press)
U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., arrives with husband, Marcus, at a state GOP fundraiser in Nashua, N.H., Saturday, March 12, 2011 (Photo credit: The Associated Press)

Michele Bachmann Eyes ‘Madam President’ (Sept. 9, 2009)

Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn. (Photo: WorldNetDaily)
President Bachmann?


3/28/11 Update

Bachmann: ‘I am an Iowan’


Rep. Michele Bachmann attempts to energize a largely conservative crowd in Iowa on Saturday, March 26, 2011. (24:30)

By Domenico Montanaro

First Read
March 26, 2011

DES MOINES, Iowa — The one thing missing from this budding presidential cycle, is a candidate who really fires up the base. …

It was Michele Bachmann today who showed the most promise in filling that void. Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour (R) and Newt Gingrich (R) were politely and well received, but it’s Bachmann who really fired them up with criticisms of the administration, an artful weaving of audience response, and backing up her points with a litany of “statistics.”

She ended her speech here at Rep. Steve King’s (R-IA) Conservative Principles Conference by provocatively asking if the crowd was “in” for 2012. And then to rally-like applause, Bachmann declared, “I’m in! You’re in, we’re going to take this country back in 2012.” …

Bachmann connected with the audience not just in words, but also tried to do so in genealogy.

The congresswoman from Minnesota, who was born in Iowa, touted, “I am an Iowan!” She rattled off the seven generations of her family that emigrated from Norway to Iowa, a “land of milk and honey.” And she lavished Iowans with praise, calling them intelligent, good natured, and even good looking.

She drew laughs from the crowd, cracking wise on President Barack Obama, a fat target of today’s confab. She started with his NCAA bracket, making fun of his inability to pick Final Four teams. And then pivoted to saying the U.S. is “engaged in a third Middle East war. Talk about March Madness. Can anyone else see Jimmy Carter?” …

Bachmann noted the debt to China, mentioned that a man named Hu is the president of China, and delivered this line: “We know now, Hu is your daddy.”

It’s a line she’s used before, notably at CPAC, but it was the first time for this crowd, and it played much better here than the last time.

She invoked the Founding Fathers, Lincoln, and even light bulbs.

“I think Iowans ought to be trusted on the choice of their own light bulbs,” she boasted to a mix of laughs and applause. “Iowans are really smart people.”

And Bachmann, who noted that she is a child of divorce, gave this socially conservative crowd a little of the policy they want to hear about — mentioning that “an intact two-parent family” can do more than a stimulus bill or a revamped education bill.

She praised King, whom she described as a teammate — a “Cage-match team.” She said they vowed not to vote for another spending bill without the president giving “the money back” on health care.

“Give the money back!” she said.

We asked Bachmann as she was leaving:  “Does your speech today mean you’re running?”

“No, I asked if YOU’RE in,” she responded.

Full story


FROM THE ARCHIVES: One Year Ago — March 24, 2010

Michele Bachmann’s Abortion Lie

Rep. Bachmann shown during an interview with MSNBC on election night, 2010.

One year ago today, I reported that St. Cloud Times political reporter Mark Sommerhauser did what good reporters are supposed to: fact-check the public assertions of elected officials — and his preliminary finding is that “independent experts … are disputing [Michele] Bachmann’s abortion claims.”


FROM THE ARCHIVES: Two Years Ago — March 24, 2009

Bachmann Call for Armed Revolt?


Two years ago today, on March 23, 2009, I reported that Rep. Michele Bachmann said she wanted people in Minnesota “armed and dangerous” on the issue of an energy tax, “because we need to fight back” and “having a revolution every now and then is a good thing.”

12 Responses to “Bachmann Running for President”
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