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Strange new respect breaks out all over for Michele Bachmann.

9:35 AM, Jul 1, 2011 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
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Following on Matt Continetti’s cover story this week, “Queen of the Tea Party,” a host of writers seem to have awakened to the charms, and the potential, of Michele Bachmann. The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza insightfully describes her “unique appeal” in an account of a town hall meeting in Rock Hill, South Carolina, earlier this week (it’s worth watching the whole event, by the way). John Cassidy writes a snarky—but, despite himself, admiring—account of Bachmann in the New Yorker. And National Review puts Bachmann on its cover as “Daughter of Liberty” in its just-off-the presses July 18 issue (Robert Costa’s profile is not yet on line).

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So Bachmann’s taking off. Can she sustain it? Who knows? That’s what campaigns are for. But a sign of how seriously she’s being taken is that aides on the Hill are now beginning—half-jokingly—to speculate about her vice presidential pick. I still think Ryan-Rubio is the most likely 2012 GOP ticket. But if not that, how about Bachmann-Lieberman?

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