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Is Michele Bachmann the new Sarah Palin?

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Ron Sachs/Newscom

(Read caption) Rep. Michele Bachmann (R) of Minnesota, (c.) makes remarks after the first Tea Party Caucus meeting at the US Capitol in Washington on July 21, 2010.

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Is Michele Bachmann the new Sarah Palin?

After all, Ms. Bachmann is talkative, telegenic, and a big tea party backer. Plus, she’s used to cold and snow. She’s a GOP member of Congress from Minnesota, after all.

And – here’s the crucial part – she’s avoiding the question of whether she will run for president in 2012 in much the same way that Ms. Palin skirts it. In other words, she’s issuing non-denials that may be intended to keep her options open.

Got all that?

Let’s start at the beginning – there’s been a lot of media gab in the last several days about a possible presidential bid by the outspoken Rep. Bachmann. This stems from the fact that she is scheduled to be the keynote speaker at a political fundraiser in Des Moines, Iowa, on January 21. She’s going to make other public stops in that early 2012 caucus state while she’s there.

And as Bachmann herself said on Thursday, “if you speak in Iowa today, most people think you’re running for president.”

Bachmann’s been directly asked by a number of interviewers whether she’s contemplating a run, and she does not say she isn’t. Instead, she says that she is focused on the issues. (She is very big on shrinking the federal government. Just in case you wondered which issues she is talking about.) She says she is not concerned with what happens to her. She says the whole discussion is boring, and that it’s too early to focus on the question of who’s running for the GOP nomination.

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