At the top of her list, apparently, is The Politician, Andrew Young's account of his former boss, John Edwards, and his secret affair on the campaign trail.
That's fairly sordid material for the prim-and-proper Bachmann, but she says she's reading it and other accounts of the 2008 race to gauge whether she really wants to take the plunge.[jump]
At least, that's what she told Derek Wallbank in a series of interviews recently. Her staff tells another story: that she's already dead set on running.
The best part of the interview might be where Bachmann insists, "I'm still a human being."
"I still have the values that I stand for, and it tells me that the pursuit of a brass ring, the pursuit of an office, is not worth losing your health, losing your marriage, losing your integrity. That I'm not willing to do."
So there you have it: Bachmann is not willing to lose her integrity to further her political career (at least not any more of her integrity).
The interview also includes this tantalizing teaser: Bachmann promises that if (when) she does declare her candidacy, "It'll be done in a way that, I think, you'll really enjoy."
A way we'll really enjoy? Our imaginations are racing. Will the announcement be made on a nationwide field trip to great adventure? Shortly before she boards a rocket to the moon? Don't keep us in suspense!
But would a Bachmann run at least get her to give up her congressional seat? No such luck, apparently. Bachmann says she's committed to keeping her seat unless she has a credible shot at the presidency.