Remember Sarah Palin? She's the former leading lady of the conservative core of the Republican Party. As of Monday evening, she's a reality TV star, Republican fundraiser and media obsession - but her presidential ambitions are now foreclosed. The reason is that Sarah Palin's quasi-vacant seat at the Republican table has been filled by conservative sensation Michele Bachmann.
The question, however, is the role which Bachmann will play.
. . . Bachmann is not an all or nothing candidate. Should she be surpassed by one or more Republican in the primaries, her influence among Tea Party Americans will likely not have waned. Bachmann's mere endorsement would be a tremendous boon for any candidate, but her name on the national ticket could prove dispositive. She is a conservative lifeline for Romney, for example, and a complimentary asset for Pawlenty (the Minnesota Twins would finally drag their home state back into the red column - the Twin Cities voted for Walter Mondale out of local loyalties, after all).