WATERLOO, Iowa — Rep. Michele Bachmann will formally kick off her campaign for president Monday in this industrial town where she was born, delivering an address aimed at introducing herself to the American voting public while also winning over a local audience whose support will be critical to her political fortunes.

Bachmann emphasized her local connections in an appearance Sunday night at the Electric Park Ballroom, an old dance hall where her parents used to go as a young couple.

At a rally that drew several hundred people, Bachmann connected her nostalgia for her childhood here--walking to school and eating lettuce and mayonnaise sandwiches--with a sense of optimism for the future.