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It's come to Michele Bachmann's attention that you have not responded yet about Ames

Michele Bachmann sounds as if she's getting a little impatient, what with the Ames Straw Poll just nine days away and millions of Americans not yet having RSVPd and/or donated to her Republican presidential campaign:

"Still haven't heard from you," said the representative's hands-on-hips, foot-tapping email Wednesday. Such persistence is one reason Bachmann is among top congressional fundraisers.Michele Bachmann speaks at a July Iowa rally

An Iowa native who now represents a Minnesota district, Bachmann also wanted to invite you and anyone you know or could come to know quickly that country singer Randy Travis will be the headline entertainer in her air-conditioned tent at the straw poll.

Iowa Augusts are great for corn and soybeans. Less so for folks who prefer to wear dry clothing.

So, an air conditioned tent with name entertainment could help draw a good crowd, which draws the media.

And if crowd members are over 18 and Iowa residents, perhaps they'd like to vote for Bachmann in what is an overblown county fair and the state Republican Party's major fundraiser each presidential cycle.

The straw ballots mainly matter as a fictitious measure of a candidate's mid-summer support seized on by news-hungry media members as a sign of something until more concrete evidence comes along. A good showing can help put a lesser-known candidate on the Hawkeye State map, as it did for Mike Huckabee four years ago.

He lost the straw poll to first place Mitt Romney then, but did better than expected and went on to win the ensuing winter caucus for his brief moment of campaign victory. Romney's not going to throw away more than a million dollars on the show this time.

The Paulistas of Ron Paul's campaign will no doubt be out in force, as they are at most straw polls. But much attention will be focused on the competition between Bachmann and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty. Both need a strong showing at Ames to maintain momentum for Bachmann and to gain some for Pawlenty.

Also, did we mention Bachmann's tent will be air conditioned?

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Obama loses ground against any Republican opponent

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Photo: Charlie Neibergall / Associated Press (Bachmann speaks at a July Iowa rally).

 
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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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