Still not convinced that Rep. Michele Bachmann is the top target for liberals heading into 2010? Take a look at the fundraising appeal sent out this morning by DFLer Maureen Hackett, who is running against Rep. Erik Paulsen in the Third District (emphasis mine).

Dear Fellow Democrats,

Erik Paulsen is on the National Republican Congressional Committee’s “Patriot” must-defend list for good reason. After campaigning in 2008 as an heir to the moderate and responsible legacy of Jim Ramstad, he’s spent his first year in Washington following in lock-step behind another well-known Minnesotan—Michele Bachmann.

While Bachmann’s extremism has won her great reviews from her right-wing base, it’s not acceptable here in the 3rd District. We have a long record of electing reasonable people from both sides of the aisle. By standing with Bachmann on the economy, health care and women’s rights, Paulsen has proven time-and-time again that he’s hopelessly and completely out-of-step with the people he was elected to represent.

The rest of the letter reads like a typical message to supporters, but the opening makes one wonder who her real oponent is -- after all, she mentions Bachmann's name more than Paulsen's.

While Paulsen has stuck with his party on many of the largest votes this year, his record isn't quite as partisan as Bachmann's. Paulsen voted with Republicans 89 percent of the time on largely party-line votes, whereas Bachmann stands at 97 percent, according to Congressional Quarterly. Nonetheless, he still stands in stark contrast to his predecessor, Republican Jim Ramstad, who received a 70 percent rating in 2008.

Meanwhile, Bachmann seems to be using all this attention to rally her conservative base.

"I remain the number one target of the Democrats," Bachmann wrote in a letter to supporters earlier this month. "The DNC and its special interest allies have one common goal - to defeat me next year!"



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