MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — President Barack Obama announced his reelection bid Monday, while a Minnesota Congresswoman’s possible run for the White House got a lot of attention.
Rep. Michelle Bachmann was the subject of a lengthy front-page story in the New York Times Monday under the headline: “Tea Party Star Stirs Iowa”.The article pointed out that Bachmann is locking up support that was expected to go to former Alaska Gov. Sara Palin.
What’s unclear is the impact a Bachmann run would have on other GOP candidates, including former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty.
Perhaps nothing gives Bachmann’s possible run for office more credibility than her fundraising ability. Just days ago it was announced that she has raised $2.2 million since January.
“There’s no doubt that Michele Bachmann is the first star in the 2012 battle for the Republican nomination for president,” said professor Larry Jacobs of the Humphrey Institute.
However, there have been bumps along the way. Last month Bachmann incorrectly indentified New Hampshire as the site at which the Revolutionary War started. Also, her unprecedented response to the president’s State of the Union speech was lampooned on “Saturday Night Live”.
Even so, her die-hard backers haven’t shaken.
“Among her supporters, they don’t see this as much more than the liberal media bias,” Jacobs said.
Pawlenty released a flashy ad on YouTube Monday attacking Obama.
Jacobs said that while Bachmann may be grabbing headlines, Pawlenty is already winning the ad war.
“He has been running sharp, hard-hitting, flashy ads that are really having more of a bite than, perhaps, him personally,” Jacobs said.
Pawlenty has also been stressing his electability, which is a not so subtle swipe at Bachmann, who may do well in early showdowns where conservative Christians dominate Republican contests.