[Cross-posted at Crooks and Liars.]
Well, while more sensible thinkers like Mike Huckabee and Donald Trump have been dropping like flies from the Republican presidential-candidate field, this has of course left room for the complete nutcases like Michele Bachmann to step to the fore:
Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, a Tea Party favorite and something of a surrogate for Sarah Palin, is getting ready to jump into the presidential contest. Her advisers put out the word on Monday that a run was “very likely” and a D.C.-based consultant tells Power Play that Bachmann associates have been shopping for services.As you can see, Bachmann continues to play coy on Fox News, but it is starting to look like we'll get our comic relief in the Republican primaries after all.
“This is now beyond speculation. They are doing this,” the consultant said.
While Bachmann is a polarizing figure in the party, her candidacy is quite logical. With Mike Huckabee bowing out of the race, Palin showing no outward signs of launching a campaign and Newt Gingrich seeming to burn up on entry into the race, that leaves former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum with an almost unobstructed view of the social conservative voters who dominate Iowa’s caucuses.
Bachmann’s candidacy is also helped by the fact that Donald Trump has renewed his contract with NBC and ended the most successful publicity stunt of his career. His appeal had been based on blunt, pungent attacks on President Obama, stock in trade for Bachmann. Plus, she gets similar attention from establishment media outlets that like to bring her on for bearbaiting sessions and then mock her afterwards.
As Bachmann has expanded her national profile and become more outspoken, her chances for reelection to her congressional seat have somewhat dimmed. Redistricting, a prospective romp by President Obama at the top of the ticket and the aversion to confrontation inherent in Minnesotans leaves Bachmann vulnerable to what would surely be a serious effort by Democrats to unseat her.
I'm popping up a big batch of popcorn.