On Thursday, CNN reported that Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), a Tea Party icon, will be forming a presidential exploratory committee — a key fund-raising tool that indicates she's serious about a 2012 White House bid. While sources close to the Republican say she will file the necessary papers by June, or even sooner to participate in early debates, her political director is saying he could have teams in place in the key primary states of Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina within a week. A presidential run would further boost Bachmann's national profile and test her reputation as a prodigious fund-raiser — but how would she actually affect the race? (Watch Bachmann discuss the move)

This could destroy Palin's chances: Bachmann's odds of actually winning are "slim-to-none," says Noreen Malone at Double X, but, merely by running, she could be a "spoiler" for Sarah Palin. With both socially conservative women gunning for the same hard-right, Tea Party electorate, there's really only room for one in the race. Will Palin react to a Bachmann bid with some "aggression" of her own? Stay tuned.
"Bachmann will form a presidential exploratory committee"

Good for Romney, bad for Pawlenty: Mitt Romney is the clear beneficiary of a Bachmann bid, says Christian Heinze at The Hill. His chances of making a strong showing in Iowa improve if Bachmann, Palin, Mike Huckabee, and Rick Santorum all run, dividing Iowa evangelicals looking to consolidate behind an anti-Romney candidate. The news is not so good for Tim Pawlenty, however. Bachmann would be a second candidate from Minnesota, and her "charisma would showcase T-Paw's own deficit."
"GOP 12: CNN: Bachmann to form exploratory committee"

Obama and the Democrats have got to love this: Considering her polarizing persona and history of gaffes, "you have to imagine that Democrats are giddy at the prospect of a Bachmann 2012 candidacy," says Andy Kroll at Mother Jones. Remember, this is the woman who "thought the Revolutionary-era battles of Lexington and Concord took place in New Hampshire, not Massachusetts," and who maintains that evolution is a questionable scientific theory. "Somewhere, probably Chicago, David Axelrod is smiling."
"Bachmann in 2012: 'I'm In,' will soon form an exploratory committee"