It’s shaping up to be a big week for Minnesotans running for President, with Michelle Bachmann yesterday suggesting that there might be a future announcement about preparing to make an announcement that she would consider heavily running for President. (That’s an official FEC designation, as I understand it.)
For 2012, it’s tough to see where Bachmann will draw support. She has made plenty of inroads with tea partiers, but her operation may be short on organizational infrastructure – a polite way of saying that the usual top-level consultants who know how a Presidential race is run may not want to touch her with a 40 foot pole. (And what candidate would you touch with a 40 foot pole? But that’s a question for another blog.) Perhaps sensing vulnerability and indecision from Palin – or with inside knowledge that she won’t run – Bachmann sees the potential for a candidate straight out of central casting for the strong, suburban soccer mom demographic like herself to fill the gap.
Or maybe Bachmann is, despite all the criticism, pretty smart about the nature of political movements. Some pundits might advise she bide her time, run for Governor or Senate, and table her White House ambitions until 2016, 2020, or even 2024. But while the tea party movement where her support is based is very relevant now, the reality is that its influence may have already crested with the 2010 election. If it could carry her through Iowa and possibly South Carolina early on, she could at least score a pretty good speaking slot at the Republican Convention. It would be a long shot, but it also might be her best shot.