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Michele Bachmann won't say no to presidential bid [UPDATE]

She can't say yes and she can't say no.
She can't say yes and she can't say no.

Greta Van Susteren asked Rep. Michele Bachmann last night on Fox News flat out: Are you going to run for president in 2012?

Bachmann couldn't say, "No," even though she dismissed the idea just a few days ago.

Instead, she dodged into some fast talking about the need to "repeal" President Barack Obama, not being "focused" on personal ambitions, and wanting to talk about the national debt, not "personalities."

Van Susteren: Are you going to run for president in 2012?

Bachmann: I think that came out because I'm planning to do a series of speeches down in Iowa. And that's my home state. I was born in Iowa. But I'm planning to go down there and talk about why we need to have -- make sure that we repeal President Obama in 2012, just like today we had a repeal of Speaker Pelosi today in the House.

Van Susteren: All right, I know why you're going to Iowa. Now let me go back to my question. Are you going to run in 2012?

Bachmann: Well, I am not focused on my own personal ambitions. What I am focused on very clearly is to make sure that we cannot continue to go down the road we do.

Dancing with those non-denials, Bachmann then whipped out some handy charts and started talking a blue streak about about the debt ceiling, GDP, and loan defaults: She used yesterday's ABC-driven media frenzy over her presidential ambitions as a tease to hold the spotlight--for macro economics. Van Susteren probably sensed she was dropping viewers faster than you can say "AC 360."

Van Susteren: All right. One last question on this. What would go--I know that you haven't said no. You haven't said yes, but you haven't said no. What would--what are your considerations? What would convince you that maybe you should run for president? And what would discourage you?

Bachmann: Well, I just think that's the wrong question to ask for the next year. I think the next year shouldn't be about necessarily who is the personality. That's why it's not about my personal ambition. But it is about making sure that people know what the issues are, what the principles are, because I think a year from now--I mean, can you imagine two years of speculating about who the nominee will be?

Van Susteren: But that's what we--I mean, that--but someone's going to announce in the next couple of weeks, probably.

Bachmann: (INAUDIBLE) fatiguing. It is boring. I think what we need to do is make sure that we understand--this is very serious business.

Maybe serious media manipulation, too.

Lost in all this presidential patter is the fact that only days ago, Bachmann denied to WCCO's Esme Murphy that she had any White House plans.

But that inconvenient story seems to have been lost in the glare of TV studio lights. (Hat tip Avidor.)

Update: She hedged with MinnPost too, under the headline, "Bachmann plans for presidential bid begin to firm up."

"We're going to have a deep bench for 2012, I have no doubt, and I think what people are asking for is a bold, strong, constitutional conservative," Bachmann told MinnPost Wednesday in her first interview since news of her interest was revealed. "And I think that we're going to find out who that person is, but the main focus right now needs to be on the fact that we cannot afford a second term of Barack Obama and that's what I'm going to focus on."

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