Rep. Michele Bachmann’s critics call her a congressional lightweight, for good reason: She does not chair a committee or hold a leadership post. But she is not powerless. On the cable airwaves and in closed-door GOP conference meetings, she can be a force — clashing with party brass and President Obama. At her side, almost always, is a pair of middle-aged conservatives: Rep. Steve King of Iowa and Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas. These two congressmen, more than any other members, are her cheerleaders, confidants, and political advisers.
The duo’s support is crucial for the Minnesotan, who is considered a tea-party loner by many of her colleagues. They’re more than friends; they’re her in-House soldiers. When Bachmann challenges Speaker John Boehner at GOP strategy sessions, they back her up. When she is criticized by the likes of Chris Matthews, they wag their fingers at her opponents.
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