Ed Failor Jr. may need to get more tickets printed up...and fast.
The President of Iowans for Tax Relief, the largest issue advocacy group in the state, has a Des Moines fundraiser slated for January 21st and has snagged Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., as the headline speaker.
"We like her," said Failor, who interrupted his pheasant hunt this morning to talk by cell phone.
I asked Failor, "Is she presidential?"
Failor's reply: "Ask her."
Today, people are asking Bachmann what her 2012 plans might be. Staffers in her congressional office have confirmed to Fox News that Bachman has "not yet ruled out" running for President.
Bachmann's chief of staff Andy Parrish says the Congresswoman's decision will not depend on whether fellow Republicans former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin or former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty enter the White House race.
Now beginning her fourth term in the US House, Bachmann has some good reasons to want to get in on Iowa's first-in-the-nation presidential contest.
1. Neighboring Congresswoman is an Iowa native.
Bachmann was born in Waterloo, IA in 1956.
2. Bachmann is a money-magnet.
In the 2009 -2010 election cycle, Bachmann raised an astounding $13.4-million. To put this number in context, the average House incumbent raised $1.75-million. Former Democratic Speaker Nancy Pelosi raised $2.5-million. New Speaker John Boehner, arguably the most powerful Republican in the nation, collected $9.7-million ($3.7-million less than Bachmann).
Bachmann is in high demand across the country to speak at fundraising functions. Her appearance at an event is close to a guarantee that there will be more tickets sold and more money raised. And in Iowa politics, fund-raising is an almost-constant concern. This also works for Bachmann. She has used her frequent far-flung speaking engagements to broaden her base of supporters.
3. Tea Party favorite
Bachmann created the Congressional Tea Party Caucus. That's no surprise. She is held in very high regard by a large number of Tea Party groups and members. And Iowa is home to a large and growing Tea Party movement vowing to play a prominent role in vetting presidential candidates.
4. Rep. Steve King is Bachmann's congressional ‘BFF.'
Fellow House Republican-firebrand Steve King, R-Iowa, and Bachmann have called for a repeal of the federal healthcare act. The two have even co-sponsored a bill to create a ‘Declaration of Health Care Independence' which would theoretically un-do some of the mandates in the new federal healthcare legislation. Clearly, the two have some of the very same political leanings and King has had Bachmann speak at some his fundraisers.
Recently when King was asked if Bachmann should run for president, King rephrased the question to ‘why shouldn't she?'. Back in 2009, Bachmann told the Sioux City Journal that King should become a presidential candidate. So, each thinks the other has the right stuff.
Presuming only one gets in, and presuming that one is Bachmann, it doesn't seem a stretch that a King endorsement might follow soon after.
Steve Brown is an author, radio broadcaster and seminary professor at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, Florida.