Three-term congresswoman is a longshot, but she could make a splash in Iowa
U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., greets Irene Blom (right) before speaking at a Presidential Lecture Series sponsored by The Family Leader, Monday, April 11, 2011, in Pella, Iowa. (Photo credit: The Associated Press; image added — not part of accompanying article)
April 12, 2011
Excerpted and annotated
WASHINGTON — In a slow-starting 2012 Republican presidential field that lacks star power, Michele Bachmann is carving out a role as the polarizing Tea Party favorite with a dynamic, take-no-prisoners style.
» Bachmann Heads Teabaggers (Sept. 13, 2009)
Rep. Michele Bachmann speaks at a Tea Party at Lake George in St. Cloud, Minn., after a town hall meeting, Saturday, Sept. 12, 2009. (Photo credit: Jason Wachter / St. Cloud Times)
Often compared to Sarah Palin, a woman with a similar political style, the three-term congresswoman is still the longest of White House longshots. But her hard-right views and heated rhetoric have won fans among the conservative activists who can influence early Republican nominating contests.
» Michele Bachmann vs. Sarah Palin (April 6, 2011)
Palin-Bachmann photo collage
by The Minnesota Independent
Bachmann’s fiery attacks on President Barack Obama, Washington insiders and even her own party’s leaders make the born-again Christian mom from Minnesota a hit with cable news shows and a formidable fundraising presence.
» Obama’s ‘Gangster government’ (July 21, 2010)
Bachmann claims the President of the United States wants to “annihilate” conservatives and heads a “gangster government.”
“She is going to peel off support from conservatives who want to hear a pure voice,” Republican consultant Ron Bonjean said, although like many analysts he questions her ability to expand her appeal beyond the Tea Party. …
“She appeals to Republican hearts more than Republican brains at this point, but there is room for her to make an impact in Iowa,” said Dennis Goldford, a political scientist at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. …
» Michele Bachmann Up-Close (Sept. 6, 2010)
She reminds Iowans at every opportunity that she was born in the state and spent her early years there, describing herself as a Norwegian Iowan, or “Iowegian.”
“I feel like I know you. I’m one of you,” Bachmann told a crowd at Pella, Iowa, Christian High School on Monday. She called for the abolition of the tax code and criticized House Republican leaders for making a weak budget deal to avert a government shutdown last week. …
» Bachmann Draws Troops into Budget Crossfire (April 10, 2011)
“Barack Obama gets no money, zero money, unless we give it to him. So he can be held hostage and (Senate Democratic leader) Harry Reid can be held hostage if we don’t give them money.”
Bachmann is the founder of the Tea Party caucus in Congress and was one of the first elected officials to court the loosely organized movement that helped fuel Republican election gains last year with calls for spending cuts and reduced government.
» Bachmann’s St. Cloud Tea Party (June 5, 2010)
But she also emphasizes an anti-abortion, anti-gay marriage agenda that appeals to social and religious conservatives, helping her build a strong donor network that raised more than $13 million for her 2010 House campaign and more than $2 million in the first three months of 2011. …
» Bachmann ‘School Sex Clinics’ (Oct. 2, 2009)
She … has a penchant for gaffes and over-the-top rhetoric that keeps fact-checkers busy and fuels the doubts about her ability to broaden her support.
» Michele Bachmann’s March of Folly (July 10, 2009)
Her long stare into the wrong camera while giving the Tea Party’s response to Obama’s State of the Union address in January was widely lampooned, and the Washington Post called her claim Obama had run up more debt in one year than all previous U.S. presidents combined “mathematically impossible.”
» State of the Union — 2011 (Jan. 25, 2011)
Bachmann: Obama put U.S. deeper in debt (NBC News, Jan. 25, 2011) – Delivering the Tea Party response to the State of the Union address, Michele Bachmann says that under President Obama “instead of cutting, we saw an unprecedented explosion of government spending and debt.” Watch her entire speech. (06:36)
She once called for Minnesotans to be “armed and dangerous” in fighting an energy tax and said before the 2008 election that she was worried Obama had “anti-American views.” …
» Bachmann Bears False Witness (Nov. 20, 2008)
Bachmann will focus on making a strong showing at August’s Iowa straw poll, a traditional test of organizing strength for Republican presidential contenders that has served to winnow weaker candidates from the field. …
Video: Bachmann speaks in Iowa
Bachmann slams Obama’s credibility at GOP event (MSNBC, March 26, 2011) – Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., attempts to energize a largely conservative crowd in Iowa. Bachmann’s talking points include President Obama’s handling of the crisis in Libya as well as his drafting of a US health care bill. (24:30)
Related reports on this site
Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann is likely to form an exploratory committee to run for president in 2012. (Photo credit: Melina Mara / Washington Post)
Bachmann Heads Tea Party Anti-Spending Rally (April 5, 2011)
Bachmann Running for President (March 24, 2011)
Tea Party Presidential Primary (March 3, 2011)
Michele Bachmann Eyes ‘Madam President’ (Sept. 9, 2009)
FROM THE ARCHIVES: One Year Ago — April 12, 2010
Video: Afghans chant ‘Death to America’
U.S. bus attack angers Afghans (NBC Nightly News, April 12, 2010) – U.S. troops in Afghanistan on Monday opened fire on a bus carrying civilians, killing at least five and inflaming anti-American sentiment in the region just as a major new offensive is about to get underway. (02:12)
One year ago today, I reported that U.S. troops opened fire on a bus carrying Afghan civilians, killing five people and setting off anti-American protests in Kandahar, where coalition forces hope to rally the public for a coming offensive against the Taliban.
FROM THE ARCHIVES: Two Years Ago — April 12, 2009
A view of destruction of NATO supplies near Peshawar, Pakistan, in April 2009. Militants using guns and gasoline bombs attacked a terminal in northwest Pakistan holding supplies bound for U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan. (Photo credit: Mohammad Sajjad / AP)
Two years ago today, on April 12, 2009, I reported that about 150 militants armed with rockets and automatic weapons attacked a transport terminal in northwestern Pakistan along a key supply route used by U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan.
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