Is Bachmann going rogue?
Bachmann announced that even though Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan is slated to deliver the official Republican response to President Obama's upcoming State of the Union address, she would be giving her own online rebuttal on behalf of the Tea Party Express "shortly after" Ryan's speech concludes.
Bachmann's post-election maneuvering isn't particularly surprising; the ultraconservative Minnesotan, who by one estimate appears on national cable once every nine days, is always looking for new ways to get attention. But the response her scheming has received in top GOP circles—a response that would best be described as arctic—suggests that the battle between disgruntled, absolutist Tea Party activists (who want to blow the system up) and their more realistic representatives in Washington (who plan to work within it) is only beginning.
Recall that back in November, she also ruffled some feathers:
Within hours of winning her third congressional term in November, the colorful Minnesota Republican began campaigning for conference chair, the No. 4 position in the House GOP leadership. Why? Because "constitutional conservatives"—like her and, presumably, unlike the rest of John Boehner's team—"deserve a loud and clear voice!"
Ultimately, Bachmann bowed out of that race, conceding to Jeb Hensarling.
If the GOP does have a Michele Bachmann problem, it's an issue it may have to face in the lead up to 2012. Bachmann recently traveled to Iowa for a fundraiser. When asked several weeks ago if she was considering a presidential run, she said, "I'm going to Iowa—there's your answer."