Michele Bachmann has said some funny stuff--like that maybe members of Congress should be investigated for anti-Americanism--but maybe it's time for headlines to be a little kinder to the potential presidential candidate. It looks like Republican voters are taking her seriously (or least more seriously than they're taking Jon Huntsman, who's seen as a credible candidate despite having a single supporter in Public Policy Polling's latest from Iowa). Bachmann will be in the second Republican primary debate June 13--the first one with top-tier candidates--and, as is in keeping with her Tea Party leanings, she earned loud cheers from the crowd at Ralph Reed's Faith and Freedom Conference in Washington Friday, when she pledged to make President Obama a one-term president. The biggest cheers came when she vowed to kill Obama's health care overhaul: "I am committed: I will not rest until we repeal ObamaCare. America will not rest until we repeal ObamaCare... Take it to the bank, cash the check, it will be done." Will Bachmann get the chance to do it? Here are her strengths and weaknesses going into the race:
She Knows How to Organize: Bachmann has been building her campaign infrastructure for months now. She's hired staff in early voting states, and her chief-of-staff is taking a leave of absence to work on her campaign. It shows her grassroots past, which Suzy Khimm detailed for Mother Jones. Bachmann "originally got involved in politics as a grassroots organizer—and she's used those skills to build up ground-level support and attract allies at every stage of her career. In the 1990s, she first garnered attention by organizing anti-abortion protests in the St. Paul area, then moved on to fight state regulation of education as a home schooling advocate. ... Last year, she launched Congress' first Tea Party Caucus of like-minded conservative legislators. More than 50 GOP House members have joined so far--and four senators have signed on as well."