Rep. Michelle Bachmann, R-Minn., briefly stole the show at Monday night's GOP presidential debate in New Hampshire with her announcement that she would be joining the 2012 race for the White House.
"We cannot risk giving President Obama four more years to dismantle our nation. We must act now," Bachmann said in a fundraising letter sent Monday. "That's why I've made the decision to get in this race."
The Tea Party favorite has been hinting for some time that she was eyeing a presidential bid.
Already, Bachmann has paid visits to several early primary states, all the while taking aim at the policies of the Obama administration.
"As president of the United States, I will not rest until I repeal Obamacare," Bachmann declared during the New Hampshire debate. "That is a promise. Take it to the bank and cash the check. I'll keep that promise."
While political prognosticators predict the third-term congresswoman's chances of winning a general election are slim, her clout with Tea Party and social conservatives make her a force to be reckoned with for her GOP rivals.
"She's the one candidate as we've seen, that excites conservative audiences in ways that some of the other established candidates do not," Washington Post reporter Dan Balz told CBN News.
Bachmann's announcement makes her the first female GOP contender to enter the 2012 sweepstakes.
Meanwhile, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, another potential GOP hopeful, has yet to toss her hat into the ring.
"I have great respect and admiration for the governor and I came to my decision to enter the race to seek the presidency of the United States independently," Bachmann told CBS News recently.
"I think we have a wonderful field of candidates," she said. "And I think we have room for more, if the governor would choose to come in."