Solidly pro-Israel Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota announces she is running for the GOP presidential nomination and already is at the top of polls in Iowa.

A Christian who says she “grew up with a love for Israel," she is a social conservative who has all the physical, religious and political assets of another Tea Party darling, Sarah Palin, but without her image of ignorance of foreign relations.

However, she has been called “flaky,” a description she told Fox News Sunday is “insulting, because I am a serious person.” She added, "I have a titanium spine for doing what we need to do to get the country turned around.”

She is formally announcing her candidacy Monday in Iowa, where she was born.  At present, Rep.Bachmann shares the top spot in the polls with Gov. Mitt Romney.

Her main campaign opponent does not come from the pool of other Republican contenders but rather is U.S. President Barack Obama, whom she accuses of not having “a basic understanding of how do the job of president of the United States."

Like many other Republican candidates who may attract pro-Israel supporters, Rep. Bachmann names the economy as the number one issue in the United States. Her positions include not raising the federal debt ceiling and exercising “tough love: to cut spending, including military expenditures, if necessary."

She decidedly sees Israel and the United States as one and the same in terms of values and mutual needs.

The Minnesota legislator stated in a pre-campaign video released earlier this year that Israel and the United States “share the same exceptional mission – to be a light unto the nations. I was raised in a home full of love for Israel. We learned that our Christian faith is rooted in Judaism.”

She volunteered on a Negev kibbutz in 1974 when Rep. Bachmann said she “came to the understanding that Israel is not merely the cradle of our faith but is the greatest strategic asset that the United States has in the region.

“If we want to protect our national security, the best policy to ensure that Israel stays strong…. Upholding American values means…we must stand with Israel. I stand with Israel,” which must be strong enough to defend itself."