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January 22nd, 2011 6:13 pm
Bachmann Continues Independent Streak

Other than her congressional district, Rep. Michele Bachmann’s (R-MN) true base of support comes from the millions of Tea Party members currently providing the grassroots dynamism of the Republican Party.  Bachmann raised so much money last cycle that some pundits think she’s running for U.S. Senate or even president.

The announcement that Bachmann is delivering an unofficial Republican response to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union Address will heighten that speculation.  It will also anger the House Republican leadership that continues to pass over Bachmann.  First, it voted her down in a bid to be the new chair of the House GOP Conference Chair.  Bachmann pressed ahead with her own Tea Party caucus, raising even more money.  Now, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) is slated to give the official Republican response, but Bachmann will deliver her own via the Tea Party Express website.

There may not be a way for Bachmann to capitalize on her media stardom, unless she continues to go her own way.  This will widen the gap between her and House GOP leadership, but if she wins a Senate seat or the presidency in 2012, the onus will be on leadership to make nice with her.

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