Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) will deliver her own rebuttal to Pres. Obama's State of the Union address Tuesday, a surprise - and perhaps unwelcome - announcement sure to invite contrasts to the official GOP response being given by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.).
Bachmann's speech will be sponsored by the Tea Party Express, the conservative group announced Friday, and will be live-streamed on its website. Bachmann, founder of the House Tea Party Caucus, received thousands of dollars from the group's PAC during her re-election bid last year.
Bachmann's decision to deliver an alternative rebuttal after being passed over for the official gig once again proves that Bachmann is interested in building a national profile -- and that her allies in the Tea Party are all too happy to oblige -- as she continues to fuel speculation about a possible presidential run with today's high-profile speech in Iowa.
But it also reflects the Tea Party's perpetual -- and seemingly insatiable -- desire to declare autonomy from the GOP establishment. Sponsoring Bachmann's alternative response demonstrates Tea Partiers' skepticism that a Republican official chosen by House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) -- two men who embody the GOP establishment -- would adequately address the objections and concerns of the party's conservative wing.