Before CNN’s presidential debate was even over, Republican Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann sent a note to supporters saying she’s in after “thousands of patriotic Americans encouraged me to run for President of the United States. After many weeks of prayer and thoughtful discussion with my family and friends, I have decided to take the next step forward in seeking the Republican nomination for President of the United States.” As the only woman on the stage in New Hampshire the petite Tea Party favorite charged out taking on federal healthcare and ending President Obama’s term in office. She emphasized how she defied her own party in opposing federal bailout and repeatedly shared her background as a tax attorney, mother of 5 and foster parent to 23 children.
The other Minnesotan sharing the national spotlight, former Republican Governor Tim Pawlenty, also took time to share his biography noting his “blue collar background.” Pawlenty appeared to back off some tough criticism for former fellow Governor Mitt Romney on his state’s healthcare mandates. But the 8-year Minnesota governor seemed to take some subtle swipes at his in-state competition saying on anti-abortion legislation “I haven’t just talked about it, I’ve done it.” Pawlenty also touted how he used his executive power to appoint what he called the most conservative court bench in modern Minnesota history. It was an interesting night for this political reporter who has covered Bachmann and Pawlenty nearly their entire political careers and seen their different paths to higher office.