Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) signaled on Thursday night that she can be expected to make a presidential announcement next month in the key early primary state of Iowa.
The Tea Party favorite trickled out the details in a conference call with reporters Thursday night but said she could still reverse course and sit out the 2012 White House campaign. Bachmann was supposed to speak in person at a GOP dinner in downtown Des Moines, but a vote in Washington turned the appearance into a video message.
Bachmann says she has staff lined up in the states that start the presidential nominating process: Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.
She says strong fundraising and other indicators make her confident about making a run.
Buzz swirling around Bachmann's plans for the next election cycle comes on the heels of former Alaska governor Sarah Palin returning to the spotlight with plans to launch a bus tour and debut a new documentary. During an appearance on CNN's "John King, USA" on Thursday night, Bachmann said she considers Palin "a friend" and added "if she gets in, she gets in."
The conservative congresswoman suggested, "My decision will be made on whether I think it is the right thing at the right time, and we'll let you know in June."
Asked if former Palin's decision would have any bearing on hers while speaking with reporters on Thursday night, Bachmann said she was acting "independent of what any other candidate decides, no matter which candidate gets in and which candidate gets out."
Of the Palin-Bachmann political overlap, Bachmann said: "I don't believe that any two candidates are interchangeable. Each one of us brings our own unique skill sets into this race."