Looks like Michele Bachmann is serious about running for the top job in 2012. CNN reported today that the three-time Congresswoman from Minnesota will launch a presidential exploratory committee by June at the latest, and has already made significant hires in Iowa:
CNN has exclusively learned that Rep. Michele Bachmann will form a presidential exploratory committee. The Minnesota Republican plans to file papers for the committee in early June, with an announcement likely around that same time.
But a source close to the congresswoman said that Bachmann could form the exploratory committee even earlier than June so that she could participate in early Republican presidential debates. …
Meanwhile, CNN has also learned that Iowa Republican state Sen. Kent Sorenson has been hired to be Bachmann’s political director for the state – and that Bachmann aides hope to have a complete team together for Iowa by this weekend.
I’m always skeptical of presidential campaigns that start from the House. America has only elected one Congressman to the presidency, James Garfield, and that was more than 130 years ago. The position represents a relatively small political unit, and lacks the constituency that a governor or a Senator can claim from having won state-wide election at least once. However, given Bachmann’s success in promoting and organizing within the Tea Party movement, where her status rivals that of Sarah Palin, the constituency issue may not be as critical as it would be for other members aiming for the White House instead of another term in the other House on Pennsylvania Avenue.
Anyone who knows Bachmann knows that she lacks nothing in drive or courage. Still, in this coming cycle, we can expect to see executive competence become a big issue, and the Republican nominee will have to possess a track record for accomplishment in that context. Bachmann’s resumé does not include significant executive experience, and none in politics, which puts her at a disadvantage when pitted against governors expected to run for the office, including her fellow Minnesotan Tim Pawlenty.
Here at home, speculation runs towards a Bachmann run against Amy Klobuchar for the Senate in 2012, especially given the massive war chest Bachmann amassed in the 2010 cycle. Klobuchar may be tough to beat in Minnesota, but that path may hold more opportunities for success for Bachmann than a dark-horse run at the presidency.