Feb. 11, 2016 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Tim Pawlenty’s Michele Bachmann Problem

Still, Bachmann was in South Carolina recently and has a trip scheduled this month to the Hawkeye State, marking her second visit to Iowa since she first announced she was considering a White House bid.

A Bachmann bid for the Republican nomination might appear to be a Don Quixote-like quest, given the lack of success that House Members have had in running for the White House and the extent of her appeal.

After all, while supporters of Bachmann would be among the most passionate of any Republican hopeful, her appeal would be limited to only the most conservative elements of her party.

And if Palin were to enter the Republican race, it’s difficult to believe that Bachmann, who leads the Tea Party Caucus in the House and gave the tea party “response” to the State of the Union in January, would have any room to run in the contest.

Even if Bachmann didn’t believe that she could win her party’s nomination, she might still have an incentive to run.

She would surely get some media attention and would have another platform to advance her agenda. And Bachmann could mount a presidential campaign and test her appeal in Iowa without having to give up her Congressional seat.

But one ally of the Congresswoman dismissed the idea that Bachmann would run simply to articulate her views, arguing that if she does enter the race, it would be to win.

“She thinks there are people who want a Constitutional conservative to be the party’s nominee, and she believes that voters are looking for the new and different,” the source said.

As the GOP race for president starts to take shape, it’s worth remembering two things. First, Bachmann is not going to be the Republican nominee. And second, in a crowded Republican contest in Iowa next February, anything could happen.

Stuart Rothenberg is editor of the Rothenberg Political Report.

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