Though Bachmann wasn’t allied with Romney in any formal way, she assumed the position of his attack dog. As she aimed to consolidate support and emerge as the alternative to Romney, she attacked – from the right – any candidate that sought to claim that mantle. At first it was Tim Pawlenty, then Texas Gov. Rick Perry, then Herman Cain and finally Newt Gingrich. Through all of it, Bachmann went relatively easy on Romney and spared him the dirty work of attacking his rivals. Given his liberal record as governor of Massachusetts, he has less credibility that she does in criticizing anybody from the right, so Bachmann served an important role.