Michele Bachmann was a self-styled "education researcher" making a run for a Minnesota school board seat in 1999 when the question came up at a candidate forum: If elected, would she serve all four years?
Maybe not, she said.
Bachmann, now a three-term congresswoman and tea party favorite who may run for president in 2012, opened up about a confrontation she'd had with a state senator over Minnesota's new school standards.
"I told him that if he's not willing to be more responsive to the citizens, that I may have to run for his seat or find someone else who would do so," she said, according to a newspaper account of the meeting.
Bachmann lost the school board race, but then knocked off the senator, a fellow Republican, just months later using the standards as her primary issue.