Back on their home turf, Michele Bachmann and Tim Pawlenty brought their Republican presidential campaigns to Minneapolis Saturday, wooing conservative bloggers and activists.

Appearing almost back-to-back at the RightOnline conference, the former governor and congresswoman were coming off a week when the trajectories of their candidacies moved in decidedly different directions. 

Bachmann is riding high after her universally-praised debate performance on Monday turbocharged her standing within the GOP field, while Pawlenty's less-than-steller debate turn left his campaign sputtering. Their Saturday appearances seemed to follow that pattern. 

Bachmann was up first at the conference, in a 38-minute speech greeted by standing ovations no fewer than four times and interrupted by applause no fewer than 30 times -- a speech in which she used a variation of the phrase, "as president of the United States, I will ... "

Compared to Bachmann's fiery stump speech, Pawlenty's was shorter, more low-key and more like a conservative motivational address and he was greeted noticeably less enthusiastically by a slightly smaller crowd.

"In this cause for a better, more common-sense conservative direction for America, we've got to be a team," Pawlenty said. "We're going to have a robust debate about the particulars, but we've got to be a team ... {We've got to] get this country back on track. If we're going to get a a new and better America, I should say a restored America ... we're going to need a new and better president."

One of the loudest ovations for Bachmann came when she told the crowd she had filed the formal paperwork for a presidential run last week.

"President Obama has failed the country so miserably," Bachmann said, telling her listeners that Americans "are longing for a president who will lead from the front and not from behind, and who will stand with them ... We can turn this country around. And I stand with you today in Minneapolis, Minnesota, to say you are ready, because I want you to know I'm ready. I'm ready. Will you be with me? Will you do this? 

"... Together we can do this. Together we will."

Her last words were drowned out by a massive roar of approval.

After the speech, in an interview, Bachmann said she's qualified to be president because "I have the level of commitment and I think that I have the vision right now for our nation that we need to have because I'm committed to turning our economy around and to job creation. That needs to be our focus, and I have the political will and the courage to overturn Obamacare and to see that job done."

Despite her reputation as a polarizing political figure, adored by conservatives and loathed by liberals, Bachmann said, "I think people are hearing what I'm saying and they agree with it. It's new and different. And I think its not polarizing -- it's new and different. And it's very threatening to President Obama."

Bachmann said she's consistently been "willing to challenge the status quo" and that "people know about me -- that I'm authentic. I don't say things for political value. I'm authentic in what I say. I say what I mean and I mean what I say and I don't back down. That's what people are looking for. Someone they can believe in. Someone they can trust." 

Pawlenty, who referred to his presidential run only obliquely, repeated an equally oblique shot at the GOP frontrunner, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney -- something for which he had been scorned for not during last week's debate. "If we're going to have a political charge against Barack Obama about health-care reform, we'd better do it with somebody who's not a co-conspirator in the charge." Last week, Pawlenty mocked the federal health care law as "Obamneycare," modeled after the state plan that Romney midwifed.

During his speech, Pawlenty leaned hard on what he called his "conservative" accomplishments during his two terms as governor. Referring to government debt, entitlements and government subsidies, he said, "none of that is easy, but I'm telling you, as the conservative governor of this state, one of the most liberal states in the country, we tackled all of this."

What the country needs, he said, are elected officials "who have the strength and the fortitude and conviction to draw lines in hte sand and stand behind it and say no more." He added, "it's past the hour to stand up and fight back."

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