Capitol Hill Bureau Chief
More than 10,000 Republican faithful are expected to crowd into the Minneapolis Convention Center on Wednesday when Sarah Palin joins Rep. Michele Bachmann at a fundraiser and rally for Bachmann's re-election bid and the Minnesota state Republican Party.
The state GOP has already distributed 10,000 tickets to the right-leaning, star-studded afternoon event, which will include Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Fox News' Sean Hannity. Following the rally, which is free, Palin will headline a high-dollar fundraiser, where tickets run from $500 to get in the door to $10,000 for a photo-op with the former Alaska governor.
Bachmann's blistering rhetoric has made her the heroine of the Tea Party movement, but a gadfly for Democrats, who are deeply offended by her attacks on President Obama and fellow liberals. In March, Bachmann told a crowd of supporters that no proof exists that black lawmakers had been harassed during the health care debate, despite descriptions by Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) and others that they had been spat upon and subjected to slurs by conservative protesters. One video
, however, clearly shows Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.) turning angrily toward a protester and wiping what appears to be spit from his face.
Heading into November, Bachmann has drawn two Democratic opponents who will first face off in an August primary. One, Terryl Clark, has already raised more than $1 million in her efforts to oust Bachmann.
The Minneapolis Star-Tribune
reports that Rep. Keith Ellison, a Democrat from a neighboring Minnesota congressional district, has sent out a fundraising appeal featuring Bachmann and urging his supporters to send a message that "fear mongering is not welcome in my district."
Depending upon where you stand politically, the Palin-Bachmann duo will either be two conservative flavors that taste great together, or 20 fire-engine-red nails on a chalkboard. Either way, it won't be boring, and we'll have a full report for you after it happens.