Michele Bachmann in Iowa to "set the table" for 2012

Bachmann's headed south of the (Minnesota) border.

Bachmann's headed south of the (Minnesota) border.

Our very own Rep. Michele Bachmann is off to Des Moines today to break bread with Republican big wigs, "set the table" for the 2012 presidential election cycle, and remind everyone there that she's not really Minnesotan, she's Iowan.

Maybe she'll like it so much she stays there.


"I am the seventh generation of Iowans in my family. We came as early pioneers, some of the first people that tilled the soil," she said yesterday in an interview-free campaign commercial with the conservative National Review. "I want to go to Iowa because they, essentially, are the first precinct, if you will, of 2012."

She also said she wants to "set the table" for 2012, without saying whether that means she's a presidential candidate.

Bachmann's a pro at holding the floor. By coyly dancing around the question of whether she'll enter the 2012 race, which starts in Iowa and New Hampshire, she knows she's an irresistible media magnet. And when the cameras are on her, she gets free air time to rip Democrats and raise money. It's a win-win strategy.

National Review was happy to play along, reminding its audience at the outset that Bachmann was "keeping her options open," then goading her along with talk about the "urgent" need to fight socialism or something.

But, is she running?

The Iowa visit has all the trappings of a primary campaign. She'll huddle with Iowa's new GOP governor, Terry Branstad, party chair Matt Strawn, and Tea Party folks. She'll glad-hand her way through some coffee shops. And then she'll preach to the choir at Friday night's annual Iowans for Tax Relief gathering.

Whatever she does, reporters will follow, eager for another of her trademark outlandish and often dishonest soundbites.

Her foes will roll their eyes and wonder why voters don't care about facts anymore.

Her fans will swoon.