Michele Bachmann files paperwork to run for president

(R-Minn.) announced Monday night that she has filed the necessary paperwork to run for the presidency in 2012.

After months of weighing a campaign and making frequent visits to the early-voting states, Bachmann said at the beginning of Monday’s presidential debate that she would launch a presidential bid. Bachmann said she would make a formal announcement shortly and she would be the first female president in the nation’s history if she were ultimately elected.

To coincide with the debate, the first in the GOP nominating contest, Bachmann released a video calling on supporters to volunteer, donate and tell their friends to join a “winning team.”

“This is the first day of taking our country back,” Bachmann said in the one-minute clip. “I’ve worked very hard to bring your voice to the halls of Congress. Now, I want to take your voice into the White House, where it hasn’t been heard for a very long time.”

As it now stands, Bachmann is the only woman in the seven-way GOP field to face President Obama. But she could be overshadowed by former vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin if Palin decides to enter the race. Bachmann and Palin appeal to the same conservative base and would likely draw votes from each other. Palin explored the idea in a recent bus tour of historic sites, but hasn’t taken any concrete steps toward mounting a tangible 2012 campaign.

Bachmann, a tea party heroine, earlier said that she would launch her candidacy in her birthplace of Waterloo, Iowa, and she may yet make her official announcement there.

So far the only woman in the GOP field, Bachmann has attracted considerable grass-roots support during her recent visits to Iowa, and she would likely make the first-in-the-nation caucus state the centerpiece of her strategy to win the Republican nomination.

Right now, the other GOP contenders, all appearing in Monday night’s debate, are: former House speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.), ex-Govs. Mitt Romney (Mass.) and Tim Pawlenty (Minn.), Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), businessman Herman Cain and former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.). Former Utah governor and ex-U.S. ambassador to China Jon Huntsman is expected to run, but didn’t debate on Monday.

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