COMMENTARY | Effectively capitalizing on her recent popularity, Michele Bachmann has become the latest candidate to throw her hat into the 2012 race for president. She formally declared her candidacy Monday during a speech in Waterloo, Iowa, where she was born and raised. During the previous months, Bachmann has become a favorite with fiscal and social conservatives. While the media still like Obama, the voters do not, and a strong Republican candidate has a good chance in 2012. Here are three advantages Bachmann has coming in to the presidential race.
Tea Party Momentum
The Tea Party movement has gained significant traction in recent years as mostly an opposite alternative to present day leadership and policy. Last year saw the Tea Party secure several key victories in Congress, including Rand Paul’s highly publicized bid for Senate in Kentucky and Scott Brown’s win in a Massachusetts special election after Ted Kennedy’s death. There’s no doubt that the Tea Party is at the height of its momentum.
Despite recent victories for the Obama administration with the death of Osama bin Laden and the recent institution of a timetable in Afghanistan, many Americans see government spending and the lagging economy as the most important problems for the executive branch. Without a win in this arena, the Tea Party will grow ever stronger, and Bachmann’s position at the head of the Tea Party will catalyze voters who may not have participated otherwise.
It’s All In The Money
The proof of the Tea Party’s popularity among middle class Americans who feel alienated is in the money. Over half of the $13.4 million Bachmann raked in during her last campaign came from contributions of less than $200. Only about a quarter of Obama’s take during the 2008 presidential campaign came from such donors. During the 2010 election cycle that Bachmann raised $13.4 million, the average House member raised approximately $1 million over the same time period. There is no doubt that Bachmann is the new draw for political contributions, much like Obama was in 2007. With her ability to catalyze the middle class to donate, we may see some election finance records broken this time around.
We All Need Motherly Love
Bachmann’s outward personality is warm and inviting, in stark contrast to many other politicians in the running for the 2012 election. She was a foster mother for 23 teenagers, and has a strong resemblance to Lauren Graham from “Gilmore Girls.” I believe America needs a motherly figure to break the sex barrier in the presidency, and Bachmann epitomizes the word mother. Sarah Palin was a pageant queen, and Bristol’s problems did not lend credibility to her family life. Hillary Clinton suffered from the public’s view of her relationship with Bill. From giving counsel to girls waiting outside abortion clinics to raising five children of her own, there is no doubt Bachmann is a true matriarch. In 2012, Bachmann could possibly be a mother to 100 senators and the entire American population.
Michele Bachmann: Campaign Finance Summary at Opensecrets.org