The Minnesota congresswoman is a conservative darling who rode early attention to a win in the Iowa Straw Poll. But her rise was stemmed by the candidacy of another Tea Party favorite, Texas Governor Rick Perry, and Bachmann has never recovered. The former federal tax lawyer has cast herself as a fiscal conservative and unbridled critic of the Obama administration. She has campaigned hard in Iowa virtually abandoning New Hampshire and is hoping social conservatives will help her create early momentum. Her biggest challenge may be overcoming the leads built by front-runners such as Perry and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.
— Written by Glen Johnson, Boston.com politics editor