DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — If there’s any state where Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann could stir the Republican race for president, it’s Iowa.

She was born in Waterloo, giving her a home-field advantage of sorts. The tea party, the GOP’s most energized segment, loves her. So do social conservatives, who cheer her forceful advocacy of gay marriage bans, abortion restrictions and home-school rights.

All are certain to play well with a GOP caucus electorate filled with Christian evangelicals who are emboldened by the clout they wielded in 2008 when they helped former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee win the caucuses.

Yet if she does run, Iowa Republicans say she’ll have to invest time courting them in intimate settings, not just drop by for big speeches. She scrapped a Thursday night trip to Des Moines, where she was to attend a GOP dinner, so she could be in Washington for a vote on anti-terrorism legislation.

“It’s too important for her to miss that vote,” her spokesman, Doug Sachtleben, said. Bachmann still planned to make remarks via video hookup.

Bachmann hoped to arrive in Iowa in time for events on Friday, including a lunchtime speech in Davenport.

The three-term congresswoman will announce her 2012 plans as soon as next week, and advisers describe her as inclined to get into the race.

While in Iowa this week, Bachmann was due to hold private meetings with pastors, business leaders and elected officials. Sachtleben said it wasn’t immediately clear which of the events would still occur. She was also planning to meet with supporters who have been building a network to facilitate a 2012 bid.

“I don’t think it’s a matter of if she’s going to run, I think it’s when she’s going to announce,” said state Sen. Kent Sorenson, a tea party Republican who would take a lead role in a Bachmann campaign. “The people in Iowa are chomping at the bit and ready for her to jump in with both feet.”

She would join a wide-open GOP field that’s becoming clearer with each passing week. Tea party favorite Sarah Palin, the 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee, is among those still considering a run, and her candidacy would affect Bachmann because the two would compete for the same pool of voters in Iowa.

If Palin were to run, “Bachmann’s star is going to fade,” said Jeff Jorgensen, chairman of the Pottawattamie County GOP in western Iowa.

But Palin isn’t in the race. Huckabee’s network of supporters and donors in Iowa are up for grabs. Bachmann has made no secret of her attempts to fill the void the Baptist minister left in the race, and suggested in interviews after he bowed out that she was more likely to run.

Bachmann aides say she would run a populist campaign much like Huckabee’s, but with an asset he lacked: the ability to raise enough money to compete in states beyond Iowa if she were to win it. She’s raised more than $2.5 million since she’s been flirting with a White House bid.

She urged her donor base Wednesday to help her meet a $240,000 goal in the 24 hours leading up to her Des Moines speech.

“My family and I are prayerfully considering what the next 18 months or so may bring,” Bachmann wrote in an email pitch. “We’ve seen incredible support pouring in; the Team Bachmann momentum is building and very encouraging as we look to our next steps.”

She’ll need more than money to prevail in Iowa, where voters have come to expect personal and repeated outreach from candidates before making their picks.

Activists say that while she’s forged strong bonds nationally with the libertarian-conservative network, she doesn’t have a local lock on tea party support.

“There’s certainly no way she’s going to come into Iowa and sweep up the entire tea party movement. There’s no way that’s going to happen,” said Charlie Gruschow, a founder of the Des Moines Tea Party. He’s the Iowa state director for former pizza magnate Herman Cain’s campaign, and said Texas Rep. Ron Paul also is attractive to tea party members.

Bachmann is certain to face competition for values voters from former Sen. Rick Santorum and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, both of whom are stressing their faith and records on issues such as opposition to abortion.

Scott Bailey, president of the Network of Iowa Christian Home Educators, said while Bachmann’s experience with home-schooling her own children “gives (members) an initial interest and makes them want to know more,” the connection won’t automatically translate into caucus support.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (40)
  1. Good Ol Boy says:

    So sad that Americans think this woman is the direction our leadership should be going. So, so sad and naive.

    But again, someone look at this picture and tell me this woman is good looking.

    This woman’s face could knock a buzzard off a gut wagon…

    1. Kate says:

      Why should we care what she looks like? What does that have to do with her qualifications? Argue that the platform she is running on is harmful, hateful and non-productive. Point out what she believes, that will keep her from being elected.

    2. :) says:

      Well, people voted for Obama, proof anyone can be elected. Alot of people voted for him to prove a minority can sit a president, lets hope those same people vote against him come election time to prove they arent idiots.

      1. WHAT????? says:

        I would blame the GOP for Obama more than what you have for an idea. People did not want Palin in office even if she was not running the show. Anyone who has a problem with Obama getting in office should look at the GOP and the decision to make one of the dumbest people in our country the runner up to the most powerful job in the world. But you are going to blame people for w/e you do not like anyway so why look at things logically?

      2. Jennifer says:

        Is this some super secret ESP exit poll you took? Just an FYI, a and lot are two words. ‘A lot’. When you are saying ‘let us’ in a conjunction, use an apostrophe. ‘Let’s’, the same goes for ‘aren’t’. This will lend credibility to you calling others idiots.

  2. Pavel says:

    “Fertile ground”? It should be with all the BS she drops everywhere!

    1. Iconoclast says:


  3. A real man says:

    Good GOD she is ugly.

  4. Jim says:

    “All are certain to play well with a GOP caucus electorate filled with Christian evangelicals who are emboldened by the clout they wielded in 2008 when they helped former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee win the caucuses.”

    I don’t get why GOPers would consider this “clout.” I mean, Huckabee was a terrible candidate and didn’t come close to beating the milquetoast John McCain. What will Iowa’s GOPers accomplish by nominating another unelectable religious zealot?

  5. Charles says:

    OH the fun we will have should she run for prez. There is NO WAY IN HELL she will get elected. Too many skeletons in the closet!

    1. Chris says:

      Oh yeah…. What? State it if you know it!

      1. Charles says:

        It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to she that she is crazy, not intelligent, and uninformed on any topic. She makes it up as she goes. Do you really think the people of this country will vote a homeschooling housewife from Minnesota into office? REALLY? Can you imagine Bachmann on the world stage? Dealing with the leaders of other countries? REALLY? HONESTLY? SHE IS CRAZY!!!

        1. Chuck says:

          And we think you are crazy for making such comments….

          Shame on you, where is your decency?

        2. Slim says:

          So, you say that she has skeletons in her closet….

          But then all you can say is that she is crazy?

          How does that work? Pretty lame if you ask us….

          Don’t say it unless you can prove it, or else it is slander and you should be sued.

      2. Jack Hoff says:

        First and formost, EXTREME UGLINESS!

        1. Chris says:

          Send us a link with your picture and let us be the judge!

          How can you make statements like that and not have to defend it?

      3. Good Ol Boy says:

        How about her “pray away the gay” stance? You don’t think that one might bite her?

        1. Charlie says:

          Aside from all of these super rude comments, she will have a next to nothing chance, so chill out a little and stop this nonsense!

          1. Mike says:


            Stop your patronizing bs, your not daddy here. We live in a country with few limitations on free speech and Michele Bachmann is a public figure. If your not man enough to hear criticism, then go read Dr. Suess. Michele is ugly as a carp with a tumor riddled head……

            1. :) says:

              The only BS I see is someone spewing about skeltons in a closet and cant come up with anything except she is crazy, which would require him to be a qualified shrink to state that in truth rather than opinion. Bunch of liberal hack jobs around this CBS (Call Barack Saint) Channel

              1. WHAT????? says:

                This is going too far. So 1 person makes a comment that you do not agree with and now everyone that has any other view than what is floating in that tiny mind of yours is a “Bunch of liberal hack jobs”? This is too good. We have people trying to insult others intelligence while using lines like this? Pot calling the kettle what?
                To give some ideas on the skeletons without going into details as do not have the time right now to hold hands and walk you through it. 1 We may want to look at the voting record she has and see all the things she complains about now but voted on earlier (such as her stance on the wars that are going on). 2 Maybe the farm subsidies that she takes and then complains about farm subsidies being given out and this is costing the US too much money. 3 The countless times she has spoke to the media and had it on tape that she claims to have stats and then they are found to be “made up”.
                I am not saying that she is the only person in the game that has done any of this, but you all are just being jerks now. OF COARSE SHE HAS SKELETONS!!! She is in politics is she not?
                Last thing, Slim you might want to research some yourself as people in the public view cannot sue others for slander, The GOP golden boy Jerry Falwell (or however that is spelled) tried that and take a look how that went. So enlighten yourselves before you try it with others please, this way you may not look like fools again.

              2. Jennifer says:

                Did you catch the photos of her hiding in the bushes at the state capitol? Seriously, she was hiding in the bushes trying to spy on a rally. It’s truly a sad visual commentary on her ability use critical thinking skills and handle political issues in a thoughtful and dignified manner.

    2. Mary says:

      I’m a liberal and strongly disagree with her stance on several important issues. But, you need to have something to back up statements such as these. Just repeating them over and over doesn’t make them true or convince others. Include some substance in your argument and you’ll make more headway.

  6. bichman for prez says:

    When bichman was a state legislator, she was spotted hiding in the bushes once, at the capitol during a rally supporting gay rights. When asked why she was hiding in the bushes, she told the reporter she was fixing her shoe.

  7. Charles says:

    Question…. Does anyone truly believe she could really win? HELL NO

  8. okiedokie says:

    The Dems really hope she will run. Her and her Twin sister Sarah. A couple bodies in search of a brain.

    1. okiedokie says:

      By the way, not ugly. Fairly attractive, but dumb as a post.

  9. Barb says:

    Have you people that are calling her ugly looked in the mirror at yourself lately!!!
    Anyone is better that what you are calling pres. today. All you dems don’t have any sense of what is really happening to America today. It is a shame that you can’t see past your nose.

    1. Jennifer says:

      The topic isn’t about the president, nor is it about a beauty contest. Please tell us what is ‘really’ happening to America today in your opinion.

  10. charles says:

    Oh lady…. WAKE UP! The republicans are the ones putting us through all this social issue BS and they are the group that is FORCING this country of ours in a horrible direction on all aspects. Once they are out of office we will finally be able to relax. 2012 can’t come soon enough!

  11. Empty Spaces says:

    The “no-show” right out of the McCain bag of failed tricks. Bachmann knows that she has to hide because the first time she opens her mouth to speak all the world will see is her hair roots.

  12. Charles says:

    she is a Grand Master Puppeteer in control of so many strings. (Strings of the unwise, foolish, ignorant people in her district) SO many clueless folks in the 6th. RUN MICHELLE RUN. We will have hours of entertainment

  13. Crystal Charley says:

    Bachmann says cut govt. spending, but when the stimulus package was passed she had voted against it. However, she was the hungry relative at the reading of the will in grabbing for every cent she could get. Then she wants to build a $1 billion dollar bridge which will be in her area. Hypocrit. Says she is a Christian but appears at a fund raiser for a minister(?) who thinks gays should be in jail. Against all programs to help the poor, invalids, elderly, and minorities. A Christian?
    Besides, she is coyote ugly. That is where you wake up in the morning and she is sleeping on your arm. You chew off the arm rather than wake her.

  14. KJS says:

    Praise God! Congresswoman, I would be happy to vote for you in my first election ever. Ms. Bachmann, I’ll be in prayer for your campaign. Aside from all of these incredibly rude and unsubstantiated comments regarding your appearance, Ms. Bachmann, please know that the Holy Spirit will guide your decisions and the direction of this country no matter what these folks say.

    1. Christian and Free says:

      It hasn’t so far, so if it starts I would be happy.

    2. charles says:

      KJS .. You are stupid and obviously not educated!

    3. Iconoclast says:

      KJS – First of all, I’m sorry about all the rude comments. That being said, Mrs Bachman is dangerous. Her every moment is guided by a deep religious delusion and extremely narrow world view. She is no better than a devout Muslim. You said this is your first election. I assume you are young. I know what it is to want to find refuge and structure in a religion. It’s not real though. Life and true spirituality are far more mysterious than what others will tell you. You need to look beyond religion or you will end up falling under the sway of people like Bachman the rest of your life. She is not the answer I assure you.

  15. sw says:

    Ms. Bachman,
    I will be deep in prayer for your campaign as well. As a democrat and a secular humanist, I have never donated to a campaign before, but you are a sure ticket to a democratic victory in the next election. You are ignorant, spew hate speech, and really don’t know anything about foreign politics. You kind of remind me of another republican who recently ran for office and didn’t win…hmmm, the name escapes me. Anyway, Run Michelle Run!!! You have my vote in the primaries!!

  16. J. Clampett says:

    MB is really popular among the six-toed set down in Ioway.

  17. John Sherman says:

    She supossedly elected to be a congresswoman for the state of minnesota and should be working for minnseosta citizens and business in washington,not iowa or elsewhere if sh wants to run for president fine then step down as a concresss woman and let us have an effective representive in sc.

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