DFL State Sen. Tarryl Clark, facing an uphill battle in trying to knock of Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann, is trying to convince supporters that the two-term Republican is out of touch with her constituents -- and more interested in running for president than in representing the Sixth Congressional District.
In a fundraising e-mail, her campaign raised the stakes thusly:
Bachmann said she would run for president if she felt called to it, and said in another interview that it's not what she's doing "right now" - leaving the door wide open. She remarked recently to FOX News that her supporters want her to run for president. And Bachmann's multiple trips to Iowa prompted Politico to report:
"Bachmann has been receiving a little attention in conservative circles as a potential presidential candidate in 2012. And like so many other Republicans seeking a national profile, an early trip to Iowa, with its first-in-the-nation caucus, provides an opportunity to test-drive her presidential appeal."
Clark's right. There's no reason to doubt that Bachmann's aiming for the White House--at the top or the bottom of a future GOP ticket. That's what all the "out of state campaigning" represents. I've been writing about this for years, now. Her base is national; not limited to Minnesota or the Sixth Congressional District of Minnesota.
It makes perfect sense if you understand that Bachmann's been groomed for this career path by the leadership of the national evangelical right. She is in their stable of candidates and politicians; a particularly successful protege.
As a member of a White House ticket, she will keep the right on board: the media conservatives, their vast audiences and millions of conservative evangelical voters.