(CNN) – As if Rep. Michele Bachmann's foray into the early-voting state of Iowa didn't raise enough 2012 speculation already, now comes news the Minnesota Republican will meet behind closed doors with two of the most important GOP officials in the state.
Bachmann, who is heading to Des Moines Friday to deliver a keynote address at an event sponsored by the Iowans for Tax Relief, is also scheduled to meet with newly-minted Republican Gov. Terry Branstad and Iowa GOP head Matt Strawn, Bachmann spokesman Doug Sachtleben tells CNN.
Sachtleben would not say if Bachmann's potential presidential ambitions would be discussed in the meetings, though it's safe to say both Branstad and Strawn will be pivotal behind-the-scenes players in the lead up to the first-in-the-nation caucus.
Earlier this month, Sachtleben told CNN that Bachmann "hasn't ruled anything out" when it comes to a presidential bid.
The outspoken congresswoman was among the first conservatives to embrace the Tea Party movement and has remained one of its staunchest allies in Congress. Last year she formed the House Tea Party Caucus and is usually a staple at Tea Party-backed events throughout the country. Bachmann is also a political ally of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, herself a Tea Party favorite who is mulling a presidential bid.
While little known to the broader electorate, Bachmann would enter the presidential race as a relatively familiar face to the Republican base. Her constant presence at conservative conferences in Washington and her at-times eyebrow-raising comments have all but made her a national figure among many Republican stalwarts – as well as a constant target of Democrats.