The Washington Post

Michele Bachmann’s inner circle

Rep. Michele Bachmann looks like she is planning a run for president in 2012 (Photo by Steve Pope/Getty Images)

Bachmann spent several days in Iowa last week and was in New Hampshire earlier in the month.

She’s also likely to form an exploratory committee to allow her to raise money for a bid in the coming months.

Bachmann tends to keep talk of her political future in the family.

“The only person she talks to as an insider is her husband, Marcus, who’s a wonderful man, and her son Lucas,” Ron Carey, a former Minnesota Republican party chairman, recently told the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

That may be the reason why Bachmann has run through five chiefs of staff — including Carey — since coming to Congress in 2006. A top Bachmann fundraiser, Zandra Walcott, also quit last summer.

But, as Bachmann prepares for the race — or , at the very least, weighs the possibility of a run — she is consulting with a small group of political loyalists. Our look at Bachmann’s political inner circle is below. Make sure to check out our looks at other 2012 presidential candidates inner circles here.

The Bachmann Inner Circle

* Ed Brookover: Brookover is an old hand in Washington Republican politics, having served as the political director at the National Republican Congressional Committee in the 1996 and 1998 election cycles. He’s also done stints at the National Republican Senatorial Committee and the Republican National Committee. Brookover is currently the head of the political practice at Greener & Hook, a GOP consulting firm.

* Rebecca Donatelli: Donatelli specializes in online fundraising and strategy. She served as Sen. John McCain’s (R-Ariz.) chief Internet consultant for his 2000 and 2008 presidential bids. Donatelli also worked for former Alaska governor Sarah Palin following the 2008 campaign but the two parted ways after only a few months.

* Tom McGill: McGill broke into campaign politics in 2004 working for the re-election bid of President George W. Bush in Minnesota. McGill then helped head up fundraising for then Rep. Mark Kennedy’s (R-Minn.) 2006 Senate bid and, in 2008,served as deputy national finance director for former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s presidential campaign. He also helped raise money for the 2008 Republican National Convention in St. Paul.

* Andy Parrish: Parrish currently serves as Bachmann’s chief of staff in her congressional office but has long connections to her, having served as her campaign manager in her first run for Congress in 2006. Parrish rejoined Bachmann’s political world last year when he served as a consultant to her re-election race and then signed on as chief of staff after the 2010 midterms.

* Guy Short: Short served as a general consultant to Bachmann during her 2010 campaign and was primarily tasked with raising the astounding $13.5 million that she collected over the past two years. Based in Denver, Short was along for Bachmann’s trip to Iowa last week. Short previously served as chief of staff to Colorado Rep. Marilyn Musgrave (R) who lost her bid for re-election in 2008.

* Kent Sorenson: Sorenson, elected to the Iowa state Senate in 2010, has already pledged his support to Bachmann if she runs and has helped make introductions for her during her recent forays into the Hawkeye State. Sorenson is among the most conservative members of the Iowa legislature — he drew national press for submitting a bill that would require a candidate for president to produce a birth certificate — and is regarded as a leader of the tea party movement in Iowa.

Chris Cillizza writes “The Fix,” a politics blog for the Washington Post. He also covers the White House.


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