Opinion: Rep. Michele Bachmann scores a prime early GOP speaking gig in New Hampshire

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Move over, Sarah Palin.

The newest fundraising Republican rock star is Michele Bachmann.


The Republican State Committee of New Hampshire (as in, traditionally the first presidential primary state) has announced the three-term representative from Minnesota’s 6th District will headline its prominent March 12 fundraiser in Nashua.

The outspoken Bachmann, who gave the Tea Party Express’ detailed response to what’s-his-name’s State of the Union Address in January, has been doing a lot of traveling and talking and fundraising this year, accumulating political chits for who-knows-what someday.

Last fall, prominent Democrats including Nancy Pelosi unsuccessfully targeted Bachmann, sparking a conservative response that saw the Minnesotan build a reported financial war chest in excess of $10 million.

In January, the mother of five returned to her home state of Iowa (sound the caucus alarms!) for....

...a tax relief PAC fundraiser, as aides let it slip that she might just possibly, maybe, perhaps be considering a presidential run. Later, among other places, she also appeared in Montana, where one veteran political operative, not previously a Bachmann fan, pronounced himself ‘blown away’ by her stump skills. So far, let’s be honest, every one of the usual male suspects in the Republican field of unannounced potential presidential wannabes has been Mr. Yawn; especially when stacked up against the emerging state-level brigade of fresh, articulate GOP female governors -- New Mexico’s Susanna Martinez, Oklahoma’s Mary Fallin, South Carolina’s Nikki Haley, Arizona’s Jan Brewer -- who just quietly go about their budget-cutting business at home while their male Republican counterparts in Wisconsin, Indiana and Ohio fight with unions.

O as in Oh-Oh

So far so bad for Oprah Winfrey’s personal cable channel, OWN.

The astute Brian Stelter delivers word that at any given time in its second month of programming, the network was consistently delivering barely 45,000 women age 25 to 54 most coveted by advertisers. That’s down a fair amount from what the previous channel incarnation of Discovery Health was drawing at this time last year.

Of course, they’re only 60 days in and Oprah’s cult members can still get their daily O fix on broadcast TV until next fall. That’s when the celebrity heavyweight will start doing occasional new programs on OWN along with the 25 years of accumulated Oprah archives for reruns. And Rosie O’Donnell threatens to be there too.

The billionaire’s experience is being closely watched by others pondering construction of cable channels around some celebrity. Can you say Keith Olbermann on Current?

At Last, the Waiting Is Over

Christine O’Donnell, the wannabe senator whose ‘tea party’ supporters vaulted her into Delaware’s general election last fall only to be thumped by the Democrat, was considering her next career move. Besides creating a PAC.

O’Donnell’s been consulting and pondering the essential question: Should she become a contestant on ‘Dancing With the Stars.’ That program didn’t turn out too well for ex-Rep. Tom DeLay?

On Monday evening, O’Donnell ended the suspense that had gripped several homes across the country. She decided she would not bewitching viewers of the popular show on Season 12, issuing a statement declaring in part:

I’m honored to have been invited to participate in one of the few uplifting TV shows out there. The physical challenge made it all the more appealing. Meeting challenges head-on makes us stronger. Yet, for now, I have another challenge before me; to complete a book that tells the story of the 2010 election cycle with the dignity and respect it deserves.

Room 419, Dirksen Senate Office Building

Today is the big day for North Korea.

It’s getting its own Senate hearing. Democrat Sen. John Kerry will chair the Foreign Relations Committee in an examination entitled ‘Breaking the Cycle of North Korean Provocations.’

As if the West has any influence over the loopy decisions made by the Kim boys -- dad and son -- to sink South Korean ships or launch artillery barrages on islands there when the tiny pair feels the need for more heating oil or foreign currency.

The Massachusetts senator, who docks his yacht in Rhode Island instead of North Korea, has scheduled a panoply of Obama administration officials and experts. This being Washington, there’s no one from Korea. What would they know?

-- Andrew Malcolm

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