Wednesday was a difficult day for The American Independent News Network, which is the larger entity that operates The Iowa Independent. Our chief executive and founder announced two of our sister sites would close and their content would be moved to The American Independent.
Bachmann flirts with 2012 run while in Iowa
DES MOINES — Conservative firebrand Michele Bachmann said Friday that she didn’t come to Iowa for personal ambitions, but instead wanted to help frame the issues potential Republican presidential hopefuls will discuss during Iowa’s first-in-the-nation caucuses.
“I’m here to be a part of that conversation for 2012, there’s been no decision about [my] candidacy,” said Bachmann, who has expressed an interest in a campaign for the 2012 Republican nomination.
The Congresswoman from Minnesota did more in Iowa than simply make a speech at an event organized by Iowans for Tax Relief Friday night. That morning Bachmann met with several GOP activists and lawmakers at a local coffee shop in Des Moines, although it was reported she ran about an hour late.
“Obviously, first impressions are important, and it would be in a candidate’s best interest not to keep people waiting,” said Story County Republican Chairman A.J. Spiker, who is also a member of the Republican Party of Iowa’s Central Committee, in a post at Real Clear Politics. “I think most people understand a candidate who’s delayed, but an hour-and-a-half is a pretty big delay.”
She was also met with state lawmakers at the Iowa Capitol in the afternoon, later sitting down with Gov. Terry Branstad. When Bachmann entered the room at the Marriott Hotel for the Iowans for Tax Relief event, she sat with Branstad, Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds, House Speaker Kraig Paulsen and House Majority Leader Linda Upmeyer.
Shortly after taking the podium, she teased the media and the crowd.
“Iowans are the nicest people, they’re the best looking people, they’re the smartest people. No wonder everybody wants to come to Iowa,” Bachmann told the crowd.
“It should be no shock a girl comes here,” she went on. “I know that there’s been a lot of speculation, though, about why I’m coming to Iowa today and I don’t want to keep you in suspense one more minute. Because it is with pride in my heart that I am here to announce tonight in Iowa… it’s really good to be home.”
Bachmann was born in Waterloo, Iowa, and mentioned the elementary school she attended (Valley Park Elementary in Cedar Falls). After the speech when she took time to field questions from the media, repeatedly asking if the Waterloo Courier had a journalist in the room.
Throughout the speech she mentioned her family’s roots in Iowa, mentioned a relative who was a TV meteorologist in the state while praising Iowans, telling them they would decide the direction the country would take in the next election cycle.
“The reason why I wanted to come down here is to kind of set the table, and ask some of the big questions about 2012,” Bachmann said. “Inevitably we’ll be looking at who the nominee will be for 2012 and there will be a lot of candidates that come through, but what I wanted to do was talk about the big issues and the big questions that I think need to be addressed for 2012.”
She did not say when, or if, she would return to Iowa, but she did meet with Republican insiders and the Iowa GOP chair, Matt Strawn, on Friday and is scheduled to participate in a lecture series organized by The Family Leader, an umbrella organization that includes the Iowa Family Policy Center.
Bachmann will attempt to raise her national profile with a rebuttal to the President’s State of the Union address, in addition to the Republican party’s rebuttal.