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Bachmann Moves to Expand Tea Party Influence in Washington


Perhaps the tea party's most staunch ally on Capitol Hill, Rep. Michelle Bachmann, R-Minn., is celebrating her own re-election and reportedly putting her name in the running for a position in the new Republican majority's House leadership. Big Government reports:

If the GOP is to capitalize on its success, it needs to incorporate the energy and commitment to principle displayed by the grass roots activists. It needs to realize that the game has really changed and the politics of the past two decades are over. Big Government has now learned that Rep. Michele Bachmann, one of the first GOP office-holders to recognize the importance of the tea party uprising, will enter the race for GOP Conference Chair.

The number 4 position in House Leadership, the Conference Chair is well-positioned to inject grass-roots energy into the majority caucus. It is energy the DC GOP establishment desperately needs. Without it, last night’s historic win will be only a blip on the political landscape.

Rep. Bachmann is, in many ways, one of the leaders of the ‘tea party’ in Congress. Incoming GOP members would be well-served to have one of their own in leadership. God speed, Rep. Bachmann.

The spot Bachmann is vying for is simultaneously being vacated by Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., -- a potential 2012 presidential or gubernatorial candidate -- who announced that he will not be seeking another term as chairman of the House GOP conference.  "Now that we have restored a Republican majority to the House of Representatives and I have fulfilled my commitment to the Republican Conference, my family and I have begun to look to the future," Pence wrote to his party colleagues Wednesday.

Our country is in trouble. A nation conceived in liberty has come of age in bondage to big government. We've lost respect in the world. We are going broke, the American dream is dying for millions and our social and cultural fabric is unraveling. Our people are looking for leaders who will confront these challenges with solutions grounded in timeless American values.

My challenge to you as a colleague and a fellow American is this: Be bold and courageous.  Do not allow political winds to sway you from doing the hard thing and standing up for the basic principles upon which our nation was founded.  We have been given an awesome responsibility and a second chance.  If we prove to be true to our word and act with courage, the American people will stand with us.

There will likely be other candidates tossing their hats into the ring against Bachmann for the conference chair position, but John Boehner's new House majority team will surely have to find some way to incorporate the groundswell of tea party support which helped propel the GOP back into power.  Bachmann will be a tough opponent for anyone given her stature as the most visible supporter of the tea party movement on Capitol Hill and a broad base of support across the country -- from grassroots Americans to big Republican powerhouses like Sarah Palin.

Is there a better choice?

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