CNN confirms that Michele Bachmann is going to build a presidential campaign. The main information comes from an anonymous source, but this is definitive:
The three-term congresswoman hopes to also have political teams in place - very soon - in New Hampshire, home to the first-in-the-nation presidential primary, and South Carolina, host of the first presidential primary in the South.
"I should have state directors in all those states within a week," Bachmann Chief of Staff Andy Parrish said.
This reminds of a factoid Ben Smith reported yesterday . In February, based on Lexis-Nexis mentions, Donald Trump was mentioned more times by cable news than Tim Pawlenty was. If Bachmann gets into the race, how much more coverage does she get compared to Pawlenty, who's from her state and who's built a serious campaign organization over several years? Plenty.
Now, coverage on cable isn't determinative of success in primary and caucus states, which are won over by barnstorming. But if the race is Romney vs. Someone Else, how does someone break out to be the Someone Else? If the assumption is that Palin doesn't run and her voters are up for grabs, does Bachmann get them? What does that do for Pawlenty's ability to break out?
UPDATE: Worth mentioning in any Bachmann discussion: She
raised $13.5 million
for her alley-oop 2010 re-election bid. For comparison, Mike Huckabee only raised $9 million in 2007, for his presidential bid. (He raised more in 2008.)