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Michele Bachmann Plans Iowa Trip; Is a 2012 Bid on Tap?

Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., addresses a Tea party rally at Freedom Plaza in Washington, Thursday, April 15, 2010. AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann, a Tea Party favorite, may be considering a 2012 presidential bid - a possibility that her chief of staff confirms is not "off the table," according to ABC News.

In recent weeks, speculation swirled around the possibility that the Minnesota congresswoman might challenge the state's Democratic Senator, Amy Klobuchar, for her seat in 2012.

Now, amid reports that Bachmann has set a number of public appearances and private meetings in Iowa - a key primary state and popular first stop for prospective presidential candidates - it appears that the conservative Republican may have set her sights on higher ground.

Bachmann's office confirmed to CBS News that she is scheduled to deliver the keynote speech at a Jan. 21 fundraiser for the Iowans for Tax Relief PAC, and ABC reports that she has set up meetings with GOP political operatives around the state to hash out the possibility of a presidential bid.

Tickets to the fundraiser cost $25 per person or $40 per couple, but guests can also upgrade to "watchdog" ($250) or honorary "host" status ($1,000). The Iowans for Tax Relief PAC, which will benefit from the donations, works "to elect pro-taxpayer Iowa Legislators," as the invitation states.

Bachmann's Jan. 21 trip to Iowa will be her third in eight months, according to ABC, and she has also put in time in Michigan - another significant early-primary state.

Andy Parrish, Bachmann's chief of staff, would not confirm whether or not the congresswoman would be making additional visits to Iowa in the coming months, but he told Minnesota's St. Cloud Times that Bachmann would reveal further information about a possible decision "in due time."

Bachmann raised eye-popping $13.2 million in the 2010 election cycle. She also started the Tea Party Caucus in Congress last year.

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