Michele Bachmann – Fluke, Flake or Phenom?
Michele Bachman is expected to formally declare her candidacy for President in Iowa today. Her name has risen from the collection of unknowns in the GOP field to a virtual dead-heat with Mitt Romney in a recent Iowa poll. Is it just Iowa? Is she a serious candidate? Could she be the first woman President of the United States?
Is it just Iowa?
For some, Bachmann’s rise is just a happenstance. Iowa is an early primary state and Michele was born there. No need to look further.
Others point to her consistent and strong Social Conservative views which do play well in the Hawkeye state.
- Pro-Second Amendment
- Against the government takeover of health care (Obamacare)
- For the enforcement of U.S. Immigration laws (would not support amnesty)
She is equally strong on fiscal issues. The founder of the House Tea Party caucus and one of the House members that is currently a thorn in the side of the progressive agenda, Bachmann was opposed to the TARP bail-outs and the government takeover of GM and Chrysler. Michele is for a balanced budget including entitlement reform and would reform Social Security and Medicare to make that happen.
Mitt Romney has decided to, figuratively speaking, skip Iowa. Has this given Michele Bachmann a boost in one state that is hardly a foreshadowing of the end result? Perhaps, but she’s showing well in other states too. In a recent Florida poll she came out as the most popular of all Republican candidates and only trailed President Obama by 9 points – her numbers would obviously improve if she became the Republican nominee.
Is Bachmann a serious candidate?
Ah, the Sunday news circuit. Chris Wallace asked this question in possibly the worst manner ever when he looked straight at Michele Bachmann in a sit-down interview and asked, “Are you a flake?”
While poor form, the underlying question is important – is she someone that should be taken seriously as a contender for the White House?
The path to the White House has been accomplished by a current member of the House of Representative only once. The typical path includes a Senate seat or Governorship – she’s done neither. That means she’s never even won a state-wide election – only 3 consecutive bids in Minnesota districts for her State Senate seat and 3 consecutive elections to her current position as a U.S. Representative in the house. All of those elections are single, small, local efforts.
In Bachmann’s defense, her 2010 run for re-election was supported by funds from all over the country. More than half of contributions to her campaign came from out-of-state.
Can Michele Bachmann win primaries at the state level to get nominated and then she best Obama in a full-on nation-wide campaign? The primaries will be the first test of her ability to pull in wide support.
Is she another surprise candidate?
Ronald Reagan was thought to have no chance. Bill Clinton came out of nowhere at the end of the election cycle. It’s been done before.
Michele Bachmann has something both of those previous candidates had – she sounds like a real person. She has convictions and flaws – just like a real person.
If Obama was the perfect candidate, and results are brought to bear, perhaps we’ve learned what happens when someone so groomed is elected into office. Michele Bachmann may just be another surprise President – not because she’s perfect, but maybe because she’s more like us than we’re used to.