COMMENTARY | Democrats love outspoken Minnesota Republican Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, who officially announced her run for the White House Monday. But she’s not as beloved by the Tea Party movement. In a poll of 160 Tea Party members, Bachmann came in second to Texas Gov. Rick Perry as to should win the Republican 2012 presidential nomination.
Bachmann may be charismatic, but she has to overcome her recent past history of putting her foot in her mouth on more than one occasion. Politics is about compromise, and Bachmann, so far, has not proved to play well with others.
The W. Factor
Not all Republicans like the last Republican president, George W. Bush. He made all Republicans appear to be Bible-thumping idiots. The economy tanked on Bush’s watch. The federal government reacted far too slowly to the Hurricane Katrina disasters. To undecided voters, it seemed as if W. lived up to his stereotype of being stupid.
Which is why the Republicans need a highly intelligent candidate to overcome this stereotype. Bachmann is not this candidate. She is adamant that the universe was created in six days about 10,000 years ago, despite mountains of evidence to the contrary. She even introduced a bill to teach intelligent design in Minnesota’s public schools. Although only 49 percent of Republicans believe in evolution, according to Gallup, that still could be enough to make them not vote for Bachmann.
Bachmann has also publicly made false accusations against her political enemies. For example, in April 2009, Minneapolis News reports she strongly suggested that Democrats were responsible for swine flu, stating, “I find it interesting that it was back in the 1970s that the swine flu broke out then under another Democrat president Jimmy Carter. And I’m not blaming this on President Obama, I just think it’s an interesting coincidence.”
Bachmann forgot that President Gerald Ford was in the White House during the 1970s swine flu outbreak.
Lack of Foreign Policy Experience
Presidents need to be fluent in the language of international diplomacy. Bachmann has yet to show any serious intentions of learning the intricacies of foreign policies, outside of brief trips to Israel and Latin America. Most of her knowledge of international affairs comes from serving on the House Intelligence Committee since 2006. Since that committee’s affairs are considered national secrets, voters cannot assesss just how much Bachmann knows. The Republican Party needs a candidate with much clearer foreign policy credentials in order to impress voters.
Christian Science Monitor. “On Michelle Bachmann announcement day, a Tea Party nod to Rick Perry.” Linda Feldmann. June 27, 2011.
Gallup News Service. “Majority of Republicans Doubt Theory of Evolution.” June 11, 2007.
City Pages Minneanapolis. “Bachmann: ‘Interesting coincidence’ that Dems in power during swine flu outbreak.” Emily Kaiser. April 28, 2009.
Politico. “Bachmann: I’m a student of foreign policy.” Kendra Marr. March 1, 2011.