Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MI), the polarizing founder of the House Tea Party Caucus, is considering a presidential run, according to some of her top aides. "Nothing is off the table," Bachmann chief of staff Andy Parrish tells ABC News. The three-term congresswoman, known for her anti-tax fervor and doggedly provocative cable-news sound bites, has not officially thrown her hat into the ring, but in two weeks she will make her first trip to Iowa, where primary season begins, and test the waters. Would she stand a chance? (Watch Bachmann discuss a presidential run)
Absolutely not. This must be a joke: Even Michele Bachmann "must realize her odds of getting elected president of the United States are about as good as mine," says Steve Benen in Washington Monthly. Republican leaders find her "rather embarrassing," which is why they "quietly crushed her bid" for a House leadership post after the Tea Party-fueled GOP midterm victory. But "who knows what the voices in Bachmann's head tell her is possible." The good news for Democrats: A Bachmann run would give Republicans "plenty of indigestion."
"The scope of Bachmann's ambitions"
This is merely a PR stunt: Even though Bachmann's explosive comments — such as calling for investigating "anti-American" activities in Congress — tend to turn off national voters, she remains popular with the folks back home, says Steve Kornacki in Salon. She likely wants to use the "free publicity" that comes from "flirting with a presidential bid" to fuel a run for Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar's seat in 2012.
"Michele Bachmann flirting with White House bid"
Don't count her out: I doubt Bachmann is doing anything more than feeling out her future options, says T. Christopher in Left Coast Rebel, perhaps fancying herself a "VP selection down the road." But if she does run, "every wishy-washy moderate" in the field will have good reason to be very afraid. Bachmann is "a pit-bull" — "she is Sarah Palin without all the baggage and with a little more polish." Speaking of which, I wonder how Palin responded to this news: She'd have a hard time "justifying a 'need' for a 'strong conservative' in the race" with Bachmann in the fold.
"Michele Bachmann to run for president?"
Bachmann would make it a more interesting race: Bachmann is no lightweight, says Allahpundit in Hot Air. Unlike other House Republicans outside the leadership, she has a "national profile," and her "true conservative" credentials are "as sterling as they come." She "wouldn't win," but she'd "make a dent" by drawing voters away from the others, especially fellow Tea Party darling Sarah Palin. One thing's for sure: "A Palin vs. Bachman storyline in the primaries would be the political event of a lifetime."
"Are you ready for President Bachmann?"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- How our botched understanding of 'science' ruins everything
- Why so many Christians won't back down on gay marriage
- How to be the star of a cocktail party where you don't know anyone
- California's epic drought
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- 13 Urban Outfitters controversies
- Russia is stealthily threatening America with nuclear war
Subscribe to the Week