Michele Bachmann's pretty impressive

Bachmann’s team thus far has demonstrated an unusual level of organization for such a young campaign. Her operation wisely poured all its effort into Iowa to grab the victor’s crown at Ames, and it paid off. The campaign is driven by a laser-focused candidate who appears incapable of being rattled, even as she fended off attacks from her erstwhile rival Pawlenty during Thursday’s Iowa GOP debate.

Despite an onslaught of unfavorable media coverage parsing her religious and political views, Bachmann exudes boundless energy and optimism. Her supporters are enthusiastic, buoyed mostly by what they see as her authenticity, a rare quality in a national candidate. That she represents a neighboring state and was born and spent part of her childhood in Waterloo, Iowa, didn’t hurt her in Ames either…

Also looming large over the GOP presidential field is one Sarah Palin who decided that in a very hot August, a nice place to spend time would be the Iowa State Fair, where she attracted adoring mobs as she and her husband Todd wandered through the fairground. I asked a staunch Bachmann supporter what she would do if Palin jumped in the race. “That would be very, very hard,” she said. “I love Michele but Sarah has a lot to offer too.” After pondering it more, she said, “I made a commitment to Michele so I would have to stay with her.”