Sunday, May 29, 2011

Michele Bachmann May Struggle in Palin's Shadow

From Maeve Reston, at Los Angeles Times:


Reporting from Pleasant Valley, Iowa

In Iowa's conservative circles, Michele Bachmann's name seemed to be on everyone's lips last week.

With a GOP presidential field that has left voters wanting more, the provocative "tea party" favorite arrived Friday seemingly well positioned to snap up supporters of 2008 Iowa caucus winner Mike Huckabee after he declined to run for 2012. Her visit here to attend several GOP fundraisers and private meetings with activists generated a flurry of speculation that the Minnesota congresswoman would enter the race earlier than expected.

But Bachmann's visit also showed how her ambitions have been complicated by another charismatic firebrand from the right: Sarah Palin.

Over cocktails at the Polk County GOP fundraiser Thursday, much of the party gossip had shifted to deciphering Palin's latest moves — including reports that she has purchased an Arizona home that could serve as a 2012 base, and her bus tour beginning Sunday in the Washington, D.C., area. The attention came at the expense of Bachmann, who had been scheduled to appear but was kept in Washington by House votes.

Even before the latest Palin boomlet, interviews with voters across Iowa suggested that despite their starkly different backgrounds and resumes, Bachmann may labor in Palin's shadow whether the former Alaska governor ends up running or not.

PHOTO: "Michele Bachmann at David Horowitz West Coast Retreat in Palos Verdes, April 2, 2011."