Never underestimate the power of a pretty woman to divide and [sometimes] conquer. Segie was a case in point. The greatest barriers to a woman getting to the N1 spot include:
1. Perception as a lightweight. This is not helped when she gets shrill or the tears appear when outraged;
2. An underlying dislike, especially among the men [and a surprising number of women] who simply don’t want a woman in charge;
3. A tendency to speak the truth, which the majority then construe as “tinfoil hat”. Sherlock Holmes mentioned this – give the opening premise and the conclusion, leaving out the middle bit and people will be baffled. Worse than that, the speaker will be ridiculed, doubly so if it is a “pushy” woman saying it.
The key expression being used about Michele Bachmann is “don’t underestimate her”. Over and over again, when she appears to be punching above her own weight:
… she surprises with a victory and don’t forget there is a very strong push in the western world for a woman to be parachuted into the top spot [Harriet Harman?] and if that woman is pretty and if what she says makes a lot of sense to a lot of core people, then her gaffes can be overlooked and her little white “avoidances” are simply blips along the way.
Especially in America but also elsewhere, it comes down in the end to perceptions. Some candidates might be good people but if they’re simply disliked, then that’s the end of the story. However, when someone is seen as a battler for the common man [not overtly feminazi], a person “they” try to silence, a fighter for freedom and so on, when she comes across as genuine and free of poli-speak, then that can go a long way, at least as far as an Iowa caucus win.
What are her chances? Here are some random comments from various sites and comments at those sites:
Ever since Michele Bachmann announced her intention to form a presidential exploratory committee, pundits, including Ed Kilgore at TNR, have been making the case that she has a good chance at winning Iowa—or if not winning, then doing well enough to hurt one or more of the stronger candidates. Republican caucus-goers in the state, they argue, are at least half-nuts, and therefore may well support Bachmann or some other candidate who doesn’t pass conventional standards of seriousness.
Compared to Huckabee, Michele Bachmann is an altogether different sort of candidate. Since 1972, no candidate in any way similar has run a competitive campaign. The only three members of the House who had plausible shots at winning—Mo Udall in 1976, Jack Kemp in 1988, and Dick Gephardt in 1988 and 2004—were all senior members with leadership positions, legislative accomplishments, or both. No, Bachmann belongs in a different category, with other sideshow acts who may attract attention but have no real chance to win the nomination. And even in allegedly crazy Iowa, those candidates rarely impress on caucus day.
That’s a bit of a downer for her. A brief break for a quick look at Michele in action:
How about this, from Daily Caller?
Let’s assume for a minute that she runs but doesn’t win. At some point, whoever is left standing will want the support of her and the army of grassroots supporters she commands. That means direct attacks on her run the risk of alienating a base of people the eventual primary winner will need.
But what if she does run to win?
If the field is Romney, Pawlenty, Gingrich, Huntsman, Santorum, Paul and Cain — no Mitch Daniels and no Sarah Palin — there’s a good base of primary voters who, not feeling overly enthusiastic about any one nominee, might be inclined to channel their energy and support toward Bachmann.
Can you imagine what the response would be if Palin opted not to run and instead endorsed Bachmann?
… and this:
To impact the race, Bachmann doesn’t need to win in any of the early contests in New Hampshire, Iowa or South Carolina; she just needs to finish in the top three.
Looking back at 2008, the top three finishers in New Hampshire received 37%, 32% and 11% respectively. In Iowa: 34%, 25% and 13%. South Carolina: 33%, 29% and 15%.
Essentially, garnering at least 15% of the vote is enough to finish third in the early contests. Given that, it really isn’t that farfetched to imagine the only candidate in the primary with the full support of the Tea Party movement receiving at least 15% of the vote in New Hampshire, Iowa and South Carolina.
If Bachmann were to be in the top three early on, what does it say about the other four or five guys who don’t? Can they make a credible case to stay in the race? You can’t really make the case for Bachmann to get out if she’s consistently outperforming more “traditional” candidates.
She may not be able to win the whole thing, but she sure can ensure that some people don’t either.
Delmar Jackson, a Democrat:
Bachman has something no one else has, Bachman has the best immigration voting record of any candidadte as graded by Numbersusa. People were mad as hell in 2010, tired of being smeared as racist,xenophobe,bigot,nativist and dummies just because they wanted less legal immigration and zero illegal immigration, and to have our laws enforced.
In 2012 they will still be mad, but looking for payback to the democrats that want to import a new class of permanent Democrat voter and republicans that want cheap compliant labor for their ruling class masters. I am a democrat, have voted for carter and Gore and got involved with immigration issue over the environmemt. Immigration opened my eyes, it has opened a lot of American’s eyes to our weasels in washington.
Bachman is looking better all the time.
Now opinions like that, which point to crossover votes, always a big factor for the party brass, will not go unnoticed. You all remember Jim Hacker as the most acceptable candidate to all interested groups.
Do not underestimate this woman.
Mark McKinnon at the Daily Beast wrote an interesting piece on how Michele Bachmann could capture the Republican nomination. Here’s an excerpt from the article:
Though prone to gaffes and non-answer answers, she is a formidable fundraiser, an icon among Tea Party enthusiasts, draws cameras like flies, and her detractors are legion. And it’s looking more and more likely she will run for president. Also, it’s not a stretch to see how she could very likely win Iowa and we know what happens after that.
No, not Sarah Palin. Get ready for a conservative firebrand from Minnesota who may make memories of Palin pale quickly. We are talking about Rep. Michele Bachmann who, while Palin hesitates, has aggressively jumped into the fray. And while she’s not my cup of tea (party), Bachmann would arguably be a stronger GOP candidate for president than Palin in 2012. She works harder, she’s smarter, she has more discipline, more focus and, perhaps most important, she has fire in her belly.
Chair of the House Tea Party caucus and an outspoken champion of the movement, Bachmann raised more campaign cash in the 2010 congressional midterm elections than any other candidate. And her $2.2 million haul in the first quarter of 2011, mostly from small donors and before she has officially entered the race, tops former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.
Her “positive intensity” among Republicans and right-leaning independents, as measured by Gallup, is higher than Palin’s, even though her name recognition is far lower. Though political pundits pounce on her every misspeak and mangled factoid, while being far more forgiving of the president’s mispronunciations, and historical inaccuracies, she electrifies crowds and displays unnerving message discipline.
Her upstaging of the GOP’s response to the State of the Union address created consternation within the party, but got at least twice the attention and coverage as did Paul Ryan, who delivered the party’s formal response. Ninety percent of politics is showing up. And Bachmann is showing up in Iowa. And she’s creating a lot of excitement among the conservative faithful. And Bachmann would fill the void left by Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN), who decided not to run for president in 2012: She is both a fiscal and social conservative, which is what Iowa Republican primary voters like. If Mike Huckabee doesn’t run, and Palin doesn’t run, that leaves Rick Santorum as Bachmann’s only real competition among these core voters. And he lost his last election by 16 points.
“What I find most fascinating about the article is this quote from Karl Rove on Michele Bachmann”:
She’s smart, she’s tough, she’s funny, she’s got a lot of personality and all of that will help her if she throws her hat in the ring.
Will she win the nomination? Will she even decide to run? Both questions are up in the air. That said, they do make a compelling case. If Palin doesn’t run, Bachmann will very readily be able to capture her base of support mostly unopposed and, without Huckabee, could surprise us in Iowa. With an Iowa win and her already powerful fundraising network, Bachmann would fastly become competitive in other states which are friendly to her brand of conservatism. With her “Tea Party” credentials, fundraising prowess, and personal roots to Iowa – a win there for Bachmann is not out of the question.
Could we see President Bachmann in 2013? I don’t know. What I do know is that I would vote for her over Obama any day of the week, especially if she can lay out a good platform with a solid running mate.
… but some negatives:
* I just can’t see someone who makes that many dumb remarks/statements/gaffes being taken seriously. What in God’s name makes her qualified to be President?
* She is just the latest flavor to be brought out to save the establishment from their greatest fear…an honest woman. It’s NOT going to work.
* She’d keep T-Paw from getting off the ground in Iowa (and hinder his fundraising base too) AND split up a lot of the Evangelical/Tea Party vote from potential candidates Huck and Newt (more in Iowa than in South Carolina, but significantly in both places).
* She wants to be Romney’s VP. I’m not kidding either. I love Bachmann….she’s a great woman, and I respect her. She hits all the points that Romney is going to need, and we know that he can’t pick Palin.
* Bachmann is flat out crazy. It scares the living daylights out of me that anyone would think that this lying lunatic might qualify to even run for President.
That point about VP was interesting.
“I have no idea,” says Scheffler, president of Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition. “This is probably the most wide-open field we’ve had in decades.”
If one could even call it a field yet — so far, it’s looking more like an open casting call.
“We are starting slower, compared to four years ago,” says Matt Strawn, chairman of the Iowa Republican Party. “There is greater fluidity in the race.
“It’s wide-open,” Strawn says.
Some other quick grabs:
* Having witnessed Congresswoman Bachmann’s rise from conservative education activist to member of Congress close over the last decade and a half, I have learned one thing: Never underestimate her.
Agree with her or not, she is a very skilled candidate. Whether that translates to a win in the Iowa caucuses is debatable, but it is indeed possible.
* Wrong, Wrong, Wrong. Bachmann is a dynamic, charismatic, very, very skilled candidate — and she knows how to work the crowd. You are underestimating her.
* Those [negatives] are good points, but I think everyone should look at how she secured the Republican nomination for MN-CD6 her first time out. She was up against two very formidable candidates–one of which had extremely strong conservative ties–and blew them both out of the water by out-working and out-networking them. Minnesota’s caucus system is similar to Iowa’s and Bachmann works very well in a caucus system. I doubt she will do as well in primary states.
* Bachmann certainly has some strikes against her [fringe candidate, backbencher in the House], but she also has some advantages not shared by most of those other candidates Bernstein mentioned. Bachmann is raising a lot of money now and has demonstrated an ability to raise a lot of money in the past — not just for a House member, but for anyone. She was also born in Iowa, is from a next-door state and is very, very close to Rep. Steve King, the, uh, kingmaker of Iowa conservatives.
There is this too:
Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) says she’s not running for re-election while campaigning for the GOP presidential nomination, but the Minneapolis Star Tribune notes “the 2012 political calendar makes it easy for her to change her mind.”
“If she stumbles in the primaries, state law would allow her to discontinue her presidential campaign and file for re-election to the House by June 5, 2012. That could discourage other Minnesota candidates.”
There are a number of stalking horse theories – to stop Palin, to ensure Romney – and if true, then she will surprisingly win a few. As for her, she seems very much to me a genuine candidate, at least in her own mind. She’s Tea Party and the Tea Party are on a mission.
Whatever happens, it’s going to be very, very entertaining and apart from our Boris and Cheeky Lembit, who but the Americans can add such colour to their political races?