Guy Benson
In reporting last week that Rep. Michele Bachmann appears poised to enter the GOP presidential sweepstakes, I opined that she could be a significant player in 2012 -- if only for her formidable fundraising prowess.  Um, yeah:

Rep. Michele Bachmann , R-Minn., raised a combined total of $2.2 million in the first quarter of 2011, outgaining presumed presidential contender Mitt Romney who raised $1.9 million over the same period.

Bachmann's political action committee, MichelePAC, raised $1.7 million while her Congressional reelection fund took in $500,000. The funds raised for her Congressional reelection could be transferred to any federal campaign, including one for president.

A pretty impressive haul.  Bachmann has been spending a good deal of time in Iowa, where she'll have to make a splash next winter to seize the momentum to catapult her candidacy into other crucial early state primaries.  Another Minnesotan to whom that last sentence applies: Tim Pawlenty. 

Guy Benson

Guy Benson is's Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson. He is co-authors with Mary Katharine Ham for their new book End of Discussion: How the Left's Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun).

Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography