Nothing is more quintessentially Midwestern than a tornado survivor testifying to their experience on their local TV affiliate. Survivor’s often comment on the power of the storm and a roaring that reminds them of the sound of a train. Michele Bachmann is a tornado poised to rip through the Republican Party primaries. For those of you who don’t eat, drink, and sleep politics (a.k.a. you have a life) Bachmann may be an unfamiliar name. She is a third term congresswoman from the state of Minnesota and is well known in politics for her over-the-top delivery and her uncanny ability to spout conservative talking points.
Democrats uniformly believe that Bachmann would be an ideal candidate to run against President Obama. They believe her nomination would be proof that the Republican Party is beholden to its extreme right-wing and believe that she would go on to lose as Barry Goldwater did in 1964.
The Republican Establishment also has their doubts about Bachmann. They believe that the she would alienate the crucial independent vote and energize the liberal base. They know that Bachmann has made errors in the past, including stating that the battles of Concord and Lexington happened in New Hampshire.
Unfortunately for the Republican Establishment, this election is going to be decided by the primary voters instead of the much fabled smoke filled room. The Establishment has reason to fear. Bachmann has been known to make a few misstatements, but so have other prominent figures ( 57 states, really Mr. President?). Unlike another strong conservative ‘tea party’ favorite, she is known for her discipline and hard work rather than being a celebrity. Bachmann’s outspoken defense of conservative values has earned her a national following and is an excellent fundraiser. Her most recent moneybomb is an aberration and she will easily be able to raise enough money to compete in the early contests. Bachmann has benefitted greatly as the field of contenders has narrowed. Mitt Romney is the Establishment favorite and polls solidly among the moderate Republicans. Former Alabama Governor Mike Huckabee and Former Governor (State) Mitch Daniels would have split the Christian conservative voters in early states Iowa and South Carolina.
If Bachmann throws her hat in the ring, she will have a clear path to victory. Bachmann has the opportunity to consolidate the Christian Conservative vote and win a fractured Iowa caucus. Both Mitt Romney and Tim Pawlenty will continue after Iowa and threaten to split the Michigan and Nevada contests. This division would create an opening for Bachmann to win South Carolina. At that point Bachmann would have momentum and a large fundraising list going into Super Tuesday. The Republican Establishment is in their storm shelter and they hear a train coming — ..