ABC News' Russell Goldman (@GoldmanRussell) reports:
Michele Bachmann will formally kick off her campaign for the Republican presidential nomination on Monday in Waterloo, Iowa, where the Tea Party favorite hopes her appeal to the state’s social conservatives will give her a leg up in country’s first caucus next year.
After months of playing coy about whether she would run, Rep. Bachmann, R- Minn., announced last week during a televised debate that she would seek the nomination. A stellar performance at the debate followed by two high profile conservative conferences over the weekend, earned Bachmann a new cache in the all-male field.
Bachmann’s trip to Iowa will be the first since rising to national prominence following the June 16 debate in New Hampshire, and she will likely use the appearance to continue to introduce herself to a larger public, pushing her staunchly conservative bona fides and her personal history as a tax attorney, mother of five and foster mother of 23.
It is her fourth visit to Iowa this year and the state is key to her strategy to potentially winning the nomination.
Bachmann, 55, was born in Waterloo.
Bachmann in recent weeks has largely stayed on message, targeting President Obama on his healthcare and economic recovery policies and avoiding the gaffes that had previously made her the brunt of jokes on Saturday Night Live.
Head of the House Tea Party Caucus, she has made a name for herself among the GOP’s activist grassroots wing. Those supporters have contributed millions of dollars to her campaign in small donations.
But despite that support, it remains to be seen if she’ll be able to steal any of the thunder of a high profile moderate candidate like former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.