Saturday, January 22, 2011

Bachmann's Iowa trip could preview White House bid

Rep. Michele Bachmann is a native of Iowa, a Tea Party favorite in her third term in Congress, a lawyer and a mother of five children.

But is the Minnesota Republican also going add "candidate for president in 2012" to her resume?

A few weeks ago, Bachmann's aides said she isn't ruling anything out. Bachmann herself stopped short of telling the Des Moines Register that she's in Iowa today with an eye toward running in the presidential caucuses next year.

"Whether I am there as a candidate or whether I am there as someone who wants to contribute to the conversation for 2012, the people who are part of the caucus system are really there for the right reason," she told our Gannett colleague Tom Beaumont.

"And I really want to meet with these people because they want to turn our country in a positive direction."

Bachmann will headline an event today for Iowans for Tax Relief.

The Register reports Bachmann will also meet with key Republicans such as Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad and state GOP chairman Matt Strawn -- two people high on any GOP hopeful's list of people to get to know in the state that every four years kicks off the presidential campaign season.

The founder of the Tea Party Caucus in Congress, Bachmann will also meet with Ryan Rhodes, chairman of the Iowa Tea Party.

Even though Bachmann now represents a district in the Minneapolis suburbs, her ties to Iowa run deep. She's a native of Waterloo, Iowa and was raised in Cedar Falls.

By Catalina Camia, USA TODAY

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