Washington (CNN) - The thousands of restive conservative protesters milling outside the west front of the Capitol last week definitely didn't seem in the mood to listen - but there was at least one voice they wanted to hear.
The chant started from the back of the crowd, and rolled forward like a wave: "We want Michele! We want Michele!"
Michele Bachmann doesn't say she finds GOP leadership irrelevant. But with health care reform gathering momentum as the Democratic bill entered final debate in the House, she took her typical route around, not through them.
The swarms of Tea Partiers who descended on Washington on her week-old call didn't come to see John Boehner and Eric Cantor. The top Republican leaders in Congress were guests at Michele Bachmann's party.