Nashua, New Hampshire (CNN) - Might anyone wonder, Sarah Palin, who?
At a time when the former Alaska governor appears to be shrinking from the spotlight, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann is stepping up as yet another favorite daughter of the conservative movement.
In recent television appearances, political activities and speaking engagements, Bachmann has matched Palin's slams against President Obama and garnered seemingly equal affection from conservative activists.
But it remains to be seen whether embarrassing and highly publicized gaffes will affect her presidential chances.
On Saturday, the Minnesota Republican was in full swing: speaking at a high school academy in Manchester, headlining a fundraiser in Nashua for the New Hampshire GOP, and capping her day at a Tea Party-type event in Barrington. On Friday night, Bachmann attended a fundraiser at a private home.
Her weekend rollout was not without incident.
At the Nashua fundraiser, protesters crashed the carefully choreographed event. And at the earlier engagement in Manchester, Bachmann said of New Hampshire, "You're the state where the shot was heard around the world at Lexington and Concord."
The Battles of Lexington and Concord in 1775 were fought in Massachusetts.
In the YouTube-era, those kinds of embarrassing moments can be replayed over and over with potentially damaging effect. Especially given other gaffes from Bachmann. She recently raised eyebrows over comments on the nation's founding fathers and slavery. And she was mocked for appearing to look off camera during her post-State of the Union Tea Party response.
CNN rode in a van, exclusively, with Bachmann as she was ferried between her first and second stops in the Granite state.
It was a rare sight: Bachmann and husband Marcus joking with three of their five children; Bachmann putting finishing touches on a speech; and everyone talking about sports.
When the conversation turned to the NBA's Kevin Garnett of the Boston Celtics, Bachmann lit up and said, "Yeah! Isn't he a great basketball player?" Garnett previously played for the Minnesota Timberwolves.
There was also an all-important family discussion. "How did you sleep last night, you guys?" Bachmann asked her family.
Aside from family, the issue of fiscal responsibility was a matter of concern to the potential candidate.
"We've talked a lot, already this morning, about your great state motto: 'live free or die,'" Bachmann said at the beginning of her Nashua speech. "And it causes me to think also about the motto of the state of Virginia: 'Death to tyrants!'"
From there, Bachmann – who is chair of the House Tea Party Caucus – repeated many of her oft-stated, Tea Party-rhetoric-laced slams. She continued her call for the repeal of "Obamacare," railed against the tax code and federal spending, even repeated a controversial line against the president.
"I said that we have a 'gangster government' running the show down in Washington, D.C. And I don't step back from that statement," Bachmann said at the fundraiser. "Because this is an administration that is intent on taking from its opponents – and giving to its friends. There's a lot in common with a lot of Chicago's history in this administration."
Obama was not the only president to receive criticism. Bachmann even lashed out at the last Republican to hold the office.
While talking about the federal deficit, Bachmann said: "As you know, this year alone, the deficit will be $1.65 trillion. This is remarkable. Under the big-spending George Bush – and he was a big spender. I respect our president. But he was a big spender. Just consider: in 2007, the deficit was something less than $175 billion for the year. Last month, under Barack Obama, the deficit was $223 billion. We are going off the cliff with out of control spending."
At least one prominent Tea Party leader is encouraging Bachmann to run for president, while not mentioning Palin.
Though not an official endorsement, Tea Party Nation founder Judson Phillips wrote in a message to supporters: "at this point, this movement is going to have to choose a standard bearer for the White House in 2012. It may be a little early to choose that person now, but it is not too early for us to encourage good conservatives to get into the race."
"Run Michele, RUN!" Phillips wrote.
Follow Shannon Travis on Twitter: @shantravisCNN