the upcoming bachmann surge

A few days ago, I tweeted that one should not underestimate Michele Bachmann. My bet is that Romney will be the 2012 GOP nominee. The GOP tends to nominate second time candidates (Reagan, Bush I, McCain, Dole, Nixon ’68). Romney also has a strong track record. He’s a conservative who won in a liberal state and in 2008 he won 11 states with 22% of the GOP primary electorate. He’s got the money and organization so far. It’s his game to lose.

But if I were to pick someone who will beat expectations, it’s Michele Bachmann. Yes, she represents the hard core social conservative fringe. She’ll never, thankfully, be President. But she is the type of person who will surprise people. She’s currently enjoying a bump in the GOP primary polls, taking the place of flash in the pans like Trump or Cain. So why won’t she be another one hit wonder?

My argument is based on biography. Not the touchy “feel good” stories pushed by campaigns, but the accomplishments that indicate how a person operates. Check out her wiki and you’ll see what I mean. First, she is social conservative to the core. Graduate of Oral Roberts and has years of pro-life activism under her belt. Second, she has a stronger grasp on the media than most flame throwers and doesn’t seem to devolve into self-caricaturing Gingrich territory. Third, by all accounts, she treats politics as a serious job and craft. She understands messaging, networking and organization building.

To sum it up, Bachmann has impeccable conservative movement credentials, strong political skills, and campaign discipline. She’s the kind of person who could snag a few early states, like Hucakbee ’08 or Forbes ’96.


Written by fabiorojas

June 17, 2011 at 12:30 am

9 Responses

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  1. She’ll never, thankfully, be President.

    One can only hope that this is not the sort of social-scientific prognostication that we’ve seen on this blog in the past.



    June 17, 2011 at 1:12 am

  2. “I don’t see any way for Obama to win the nomination. “



    June 17, 2011 at 3:40 am

  3. Yes, I was skeptical that Obama could win 2008, but here was my reasoning:

    “However, I also thought that Hillary is the 800 pound gorilla of the Democratic party. Except for 2004, the Clintonites have dominated every Democratic election since 1992 and they were prominent players in the 1984 and 1988 cycles as well. Thus, I always felt that Obama had a legitimate shot at the White House, but not until the Democratic party had “worked out” its Clinton issues. My hunch is that Obama would have a good shot at being Hillary’s successor in the party.”

    In other words, Obama could be president but not until Clinton had her shot. The error in my reasoning? I assumed Clinton would run a competent campaign. And as we found out, she ran a bulky, financially bankrupt organization. And yet, as bad as it was, she *still* managed to do extremely well – according to wiki her estimated primary vote count was actually larger than Obama’s (18.2 million vs. 18. 01 million). Obama’s pledged delegate count was 51% vs. Clinton’s 49%.

    So yes, laugh at me bros, but what I wrote was very reasonable given that we didn’t know about the upcoming Clinton train wreck.



    June 17, 2011 at 4:06 am

  4. Of course it was reasonable! That’s the problem! “Bachmann will never be President” is very reasonable too, so you’re making me nervous.



    June 17, 2011 at 6:50 pm

  5. Very soon we will be in the episode where you can succeed by doing the opposite of what George does.



    June 17, 2011 at 6:52 pm

  6. Bachmann’s big advantage is that people have her smushed together in their minds with Sarah Palin, and you hear Bachmann and it’s like, “Huh. I guess she’s quite a bit better-spoken and saner than Palin.” All about managing expectations.



    June 17, 2011 at 7:18 pm

  7. As one with some knowledge of Bachmann’s history, let me reassure Kieran that she will never be president (or VP). Some initial risk, as Jeremy notes, of conflating her with Palin, but she’s no lovable scamp of a snowbilly grifter, she’s a true believer. Unfortunately for Bachmann, her beliefs put her in Ron Paul territory. She is certainly “better-spoken” than Palin and much more intelligent as well, but far, far less sane. This isn’t the episode where you succeed by doing the opposite of what George does, this one’s “the jimmy.”



    June 19, 2011 at 7:15 pm

  8. I presume you’ve seen/heard this announcement?



    June 27, 2011 at 7:05 pm

  9. jimi: My gut tells me this is gonna be a Bachmann/Romney show down.The other Tea Party candidates seem incompetent and the traditional GOP’ers (Huntsman, T-Pawl) seem to be in the Lugar/Lamar zone.



    June 27, 2011 at 7:14 pm

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