The Corner

Bachmann’s Lieutenants

Over on the home page, meet Michele Bachmann’s top House allies:

Rep. Michele Bachmann’s critics call her a congressional lightweight, for good reason: She does not chair a committee or hold a leadership post. But she is not powerless. On the cable airwaves and in closed-door GOP conference meetings, she can be a force — clashing with party brass and President Obama. At her side, almost always, is a pair of middle-aged conservatives: Rep. Steve King of Iowa and Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas. These two congressmen, more than any other members, are her cheerleaders, confidants, and political advisers.

The duo’s support is crucial for the Minnesotan, who is considered a tea-party loner by many of her colleagues. They’re more than friends; they’re her in-House soldiers. When Bachmann challenges Speaker John Boehner at GOP strategy sessions, they back her up. When she is criticized by the likes of Chris Matthews, they wag their fingers at her opponents.

They also make for useful press-conference buddies, enabling her to present her own tight-knit bloc to the media, even if they are operating outside the party apparatus and without the blessing of more institutional conservative caucuses, such as the Republican Study Committee. Indeed, if one does an Internet search of congressional news photos, King and Gohmert pop up alongside Bachmann at almost every important interval in her House career.

Read the rest here.

Robert Costa — Robert Costa is National Review's Washington editor and a CNBC political analyst. He manages NR's Capitol Hill bureau and covers the White House, Congress, and national campaigns. ...

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