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Short Takes: The Bachmann Primary



Who is Rep. Michelle Bachmann going to endorse in 2012? Photo by Max Whittaker/Getty Images

Eyebrows were raised recently when Rep. Michelle Bachmann's (R-Minn.) name appeared on a D.C. fundraising invitation for the kickoff event of Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty's presidential vehicle, er, leadership PAC.

During the 2008 campaign, Bachmann had been one of the staunchest defenders of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and the two share a similar in-your-face, unapologetic embrace of conservatism that endears them to the ideological right and has turned them into despised figures on the left.

And, Bachmann continues to say nice things about the former governor -- calling her a "compelling figure" in a recent interview with the Financial Times.

So, which side is Bachmann on?

Asked directly by the Fix, the Congresswoman was non-committal; she called herself "honored" and "thrilled" to be a part of Pawlenty's host committee but added: "I am happy
to lend my assistance to any effort that promotes Republican ideas and solutions."

Bachmann's endorsement is not insignificant -- particularly for Pawlenty -- in the invisible primary leading up to 2012. Bachmann is a hero-type figure to many of the most conservative elements of the Republican party, a group that also happens to have considerable sway in deciding the fate of the presidential nominee -- particularly in the Iowa caucuses.

And, don't forget that Minnesota holds a caucus of its own -- a low turnout affair dominated by social conservatives that Tpaw might well lose if Bachmann was strongly supporting Palin.

Having Bachmann in the fold would send a signal to social conservatives that Tpaw is one of them. Of course, if Palin runs, which remains a VERY open question, this debate may be moot as she would almost certainly enjoy the lion's share of support from social conservatives no matter where Bachmann lends her endorsement.

By Chris Cillizza  |  October 8, 2009; 12:30 PM ET
Categories:  Short Takes  
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Comments

That Michelle Bachmann carries such weight in the Republican party is sad and a little terrifying that there is so many bat guano crazies in the party.

Posted by: Muley63 | October 9, 2009 9:30 PM | Report abuse

Wouldn't it be great if liberals actually left when the said they would.

Posted by: snowbama | October 8, 2009 11:09 PM | Report abuse

Have we all been at home slapping our knees for 3 1/2 hours over Jake's cleverness?

I didn't think so.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | October 8, 2009 9:37 PM | Report abuse

"Come out" of the closet?

Posted by: JakeD | October 8, 2009 6:03 PM | Report abuse

I just cannot imagine Tpaw being a viable candidate.. although, personally I would vote for him.. unless Hillary would come out..

Posted by: newbeeboy | October 8, 2009 4:28 PM | Report abuse

margaretmeyers wrote
"To be of any use to anyone Bachmann has to be re-elected next year. This will not be easy."

She's smarter than she sounds. They had a golden opportunity last year & Tink couldn't close the deal. The best chance Dems have at taking her seat is by winning the governorship & redistricting MN 6 out of existence.

That of course is contingent on them nominating a viable candidate for governor, which has been a challenge for them for 20 years.

Posted by: bsimon1 | October 8, 2009 4:26 PM | Report abuse

shrink-- do you want to open that up to all posters here who are tired of those 2 and want a separate discussion group?

Posted by: drindl | October 8, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Actually, it is too bad.
I like to see what the Republicans are up to without having to watch Fox or go to Sturmfront. Do try this please, liadjaafara@hotmail.com
I've had it too.

Posted by: shrink2 | October 8, 2009 3:09 PM | Report abuse

that's my feeling, ddawd. if CC wants to let his blog go to hell, that's his problem. it's only his job after all. he might want to think about what happened to dan froomkin.

Posted by: drindl | October 8, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Wow, this comments section has really gone to pot, hasn't it?

well, I guess jaked and zook can just take turns sucking each other's cocks. If Chris C can't be bothered to do anything more than administer a weekly bullsh*t admonition, then I don't see any purpose in sticking around.

Posted by: DDAWD | October 8, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Anthony Watts has a good post on the defeaning silence greeting the news of Antarctica's record-low snowmelt this summer.

Darn facts. keep interfering with my green religion. how am I going to justify an economy meltdown.

Posted by: snowbama | October 8, 2009 2:39 PM | Report abuse

a 30 minute rest. drivl heads home to Kos and huff to refuel.

Posted by: snowbama | October 8, 2009 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: snowbama | October 8, 2009 2:05 PM |
Posted by: snowbama | October 8, 2009 2:03 PM
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Posted by: snowbama | October 8, 2009 1:53 PM
Posted by: snowbama | October 8, 2009 1:50 PM |
Posted by: snowbama | October 8, 2009 1:48 PM

Posted by: drindl | October 8, 2009 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Ooh, fad diet creator opines on global warming. Impressive.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | October 8, 2009 2:20 PM | Report abuse

To be of any use to anyone Bachmann has to be re-elected next year. This will not be easy.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | October 8, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Look out liberals. actual science ahead.

A noted geologist who coauthored the New York Times bestseller Sugar Busters has turned his attention to convincing Congress that carbon dioxide emissions are good for Earth and don't cause global warming. Leighton Steward is on Capitol Hill this week armed with studies and his book Fire, Ice and Paradise in a bid to show senators working on the energy bill that the carbon dioxide cap-and-trade scheme could actually hurt the environment by reducing CO2

Posted by: snowbama | October 8, 2009 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Nothing would please me more than to have the armed wing of the Republican Party go out to Ruby Ridge and make a stand. ATF is ready. The State Police are ready.

To be serious, I feel sorry for the children and the rest of the innocents murdered by Timothy McV. But it seems that sooner or later, Americans will need to see the ugliest part of right wing politics. We have seen it before.

Still, to talk of revolution and coup... these grandiose psychopaths are armed and dangerous, but only to innocent bystanders.


Posted by: shrink2 | October 8, 2009 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Over 8 minutes without a post from drivl. Maybe she is changing into her CF8 outfit.

Has anyone seen them together ever?

What are the chances two such lunatics inhabit the non-confined world?

Posted by: snowbama | October 8, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

I was scolded yesterday for posting off topic. the topic was NY dog catcher or some such NYTimes page thirteen nonsense.

the rules don't apply to Libs. it's the old "do you know who I am?" meme.

As you know, it has it's own blog. try not to laugh. professional curteousy.

Posted by: snowbama | October 8, 2009 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of new rules, the latest from under Barry's bus:

Virginia has an off-year gubernatorial race that will be decided next month. The Democrats have tried to make a big deal of several regrettable things contained in a thesis written many years ago by the Republican nominee. The nominee released the thesis, and there was a12-minute hoo-ha. How interesting that many of the same Democrats who last year adamantly opposed release of collegiate ramblings from the collected works of Barack Obama -- deeming them insignificant -- term them crucial in Virginia's gubernatorial race now.

Posted by: snowbama | October 8, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

snowbama:

If you lay off this thread today, "drindl" will finally get banned too, I promise.

Posted by: JakeD | October 8, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

wow, drivl, time to give the pharmacist a call again. your last mix is not working as promised.

do us all a favor and reconsider a boycott.

Posted by: snowbama | October 8, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

it is clear repubs are everything drivl is not:
classy, intelligent, measured, intelligent, beautiful, successful, educated, paid for their ideas.

I guess envy, hate and spite are to be expected.

release the hound(s).

Posted by: snowbama | October 8, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Here's your 'conservative movement'

Last week, the right-wing media outlet Newsmax — which receives 4 million unique monthly visitors and 130,000 print subscribers — published a column by conservative author John Perry arguing that a military coup could “resolve” the “radical left…Obama problem.” After being widely criticized, Newsmax retracted the column. However, the column appears to have encouraged an already angry group of anti-Obama radicals who have been plotting violence against the government.

While discussing the Newsmax column on his XM Sirius radio show last week, Michelangelo Signorile heard from a caller, “Jim from Oklahoma,” who explained that the idea of a coup is already being planned by a group of at least 200 people:

Pulling our government down, pulling our President out, and putting him back where he should be [...] [using] the right to bear arms, it’s in the Constitution. [...] We need a coup, there needs to be a coup and if the United States military won’t do it, we’ll do it.

Jim confirmed that he was “dead serious.” Although he was coy about specific details, Jim said that he was motivated by homophobia and an interest in bringing back slavery. A second caller confessed that her own mother has been scheming against the government because she has been captivated by racist thoughts and a belief that “Jesus is coming to overthrow Barack Obama.” She pleaded for people to recognize the extremist threat against Obama

Posted by: drindl | October 8, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

I was listening to all the gasbags drone on all day yesterday about how the "independents" are all unhappy with Obama and are probably going to vote for the Republicans again when just a couple of years ago they were all unhappy with Bush and voted with the Democrats. This was interpreted as news that Obama needs to tack right immediately to recapture them.

Does that make sense? Isn't the answer more logically that independents just habitually dislike whoever is in power that both parties are incompetent? Why else would they identify as independents in the first place?

I realize that the villagers think there is some sort of "median" moderate voter who believes that the answer to all of our problems lies somewhere between the positions of the two parties. But that's not necessarily the independent's position. They don't like either party true, but it doesn't necessarily follow that they yearn to split the difference. In fact, I suspect that a large number of them are apolitical people who don't really understand politics at all and simply reject whoever is in power when things aren't going well, without regard to party. (In fact, there is great social utility in rejecting party politics and proclaiming yourself unhappy with the whole set-up. Who can't relate to than on some level?) Many independents probably ideologically fall far enough outside the two parties that they can't consider themselves members of either --- libertarians, greens etc.

The number of independents out there is quite large and all national politicians need to reach them in elections in order to win. But the knee jerk assumption that they are always more moderate than everyone else is probably wrong. They might just be more cranky, more cynical, more uninformed, more skeptical or more impatient. There are a lot of reasons why someone might be an independent in American politics but I suspect that ideology is at the bottom of the list.

Posted by: drindl | October 8, 2009 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: drindl | October 8, 2009 12:44 PM
Posted by: drindl | October 8, 2009 12:47 PM
Posted by: drindl | October 8, 2009 12:57 PM
Posted by: drindl | October 8, 2009 1:08 PM Posted by: drindl | October 8, 2009 1:25 PM
Posted by: drindl | October 8, 2009 1:27 PM

It's surely a good thing that drivl only visits "occasionally".

Can we get a government hand-out for these lonely loons. Maybe a human friend would help.

Posted by: snowbama | October 8, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

What a testament to how low the GOP has fallen, that one of their leading "moderates" must court the endorsement of a stark raving lunatic like Bachmann.

Posted by: nodebris | October 8, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse

and thius:

While the intentions of these anonymous calls are difficult to confirm, they are indicative of a pattern of violent rhetoric being voiced by unrepentant conservative figures:

– One of the paying sponsors of the 9/12 anti-Obama rally in September was the National Association for Rural Landowners, a group that references the incidents at Waco and Ruby Ridge to call for attacks on “government entities” and liberals. In a YouTube video posted in July, the group makes the case for a secession, followed by a violent civil war.

– Calling the government “destructive of our rights,” the founder of the popular conservative website FreeRepublic called for “removing from office the President of the United States, the Vice President of the United States and all U.S. Senators and U.S. Representatives effective immediately” in July. Republican lawmakers, like Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC), regularly use the website as a portal for talking points.

– Tea parties have been a constant venue for right-wing rage and calls for violence against the government. In April, Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX) told a crowd, “Thomas Jefferson once said that the tree of liberty will be fed with the blood of tyrants and patriots. You are the patriots.” ThinkProgress documented similar rhetoric from Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) and from rallies attended by Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA). Americans for Prosperity, a group funded Koch Industries’ David Koch that works to plan tea parties, has sponsored speakers comparing health reform to the Holocaust.

– Prominent Republican politicians have framed top Obama agenda items as deserving violent resistance. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) has said, “I want people…armed and dangerous” against clean energy reform. Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) has floated the idea of secession in response to policies like the economic stimulus.

– Leading right-wing media outlets have called for “revolution.” Glenn Beck has hosted segments predicting “violent tax revolts,” Michael Savage often says, “We’re going to have a revolution in this country,” radio show host Jim Quinn has called for “riots” because “our country was built on revolution, and it’s about time we took it back.”

Posted by: drindl | October 8, 2009 1:27 PM | Report abuse

That Rep Bachmann is considered a leading figure in the annointing committee for the next GOP Presidential nominee is an effective predicter of how much of the moderate vote the GOP will attract at the polls, which is to say: not so much.

Posted by: bsimon1 | October 8, 2009 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Here's your 'conservative movement'

Last week, the right-wing media outlet Newsmax — which receives 4 million unique monthly visitors and 130,000 print subscribers — published a column by conservative author John Perry arguing that a military coup could “resolve” the “radical left…Obama problem.” After being widely criticized, Newsmax retracted the column. However, the column appears to have encouraged an already angry group of anti-Obama radicals who have been plotting violence against the government.

While discussing the Newsmax column on his XM Sirius radio show last week, Michelangelo Signorile heard from a caller, “Jim from Oklahoma,” who explained that the idea of a coup is already being planned by a group of at least 200 people:

Pulling our government down, pulling our President out, and putting him back where he should be [...] [using] the right to bear arms, it’s in the Constitution. [...] We need a coup, there needs to be a coup and if the United States military won’t do it, we’ll do it.

Jim confirmed that he was “dead serious.” Although he was coy about specific details, Jim said that he was motivated by homophobia and an interest in bringing back slavery. A second caller confessed that her own mother has been scheming against the government because she has been captivated by racist thoughts and a belief that “Jesus is coming to overthrow Barack Obama.” She pleaded for people to recognize the extremist threat against Obama

Posted by: drindl | October 8, 2009 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Margaret, before someone jumps you:

Yes, you can call her a prom Queen and O'Reilly can not talk about her political sex appeal without being sexist.

I can make fun of preppy white jack ass know it alls and I can not make fun of the Williamsburg Hasidim.

Posted by: shrink2 | October 8, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Chris,

This is the impossible conundrum for the Republican party: Even moderate candidates need to move so far to the Right that it makes it very hard for them to then move to the centre in the general without seeming utterly hypocritical.

HOW many of the 08 candidates was it who said in one of the debates that they believed in Creationism???

Of course, the Dem. candidates have to move somewhat farther left in their primary than they ordinarily would, too, but except for someone like Kucinich (the polar opposite of Bachmann), few of them need to go as far to the left, so that moving back towards the centre for the general doesn't strain credulity quite so much.

Posted by: sverigegrabb | October 8, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse

O'reilly does set the Creep O'Meter off when he talks like this. I hope he tells Huckabee how attractive he is, too, and that people are just jealous.

Palin and Bachman do share conservative politics, an astoundingly conservative Christianity, and a willingness to swing a big scythe (ala Phyllis Schlafly). Palin does it with absolute certainty, Bachmann does it as if it is further proof that she's the bestest kid in Sunday School. I think Bachmann is more likely to take advice -- pride is a real problem for Palin, and she won't listen to anyone. In the end, though, there is only one Queen of the GOP Prom, and it isn't Representative Bachmann.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | October 8, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

"...in-your-face, unapologetic embrace of conservatism'

chris, you apparently do not know the meaning of the word 'conservatism'.

these cult members are advocating the violent overthrow of this country. do you think that's 'conservative?'

Posted by: drindl | October 8, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

"...in-your-face, unapologetic embrace of conservatism that endears them to the ideological right and has turned them into despised figures on the left."

Chris does not appear to understand that being endeared by the ideological right turns people into despised figures for everyone who is not a part of the ideological right. That is what happened over the past few years.

Being endeared by the ideological right turns a candidate into a non-finisher most places, certainly at the national level.

Posted by: shrink2 | October 8, 2009 1:02 PM | Report abuse

here's how deluded this silly b*tch is:

Last night, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) and Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly discussed why she is “second to Sarah Palin in far-left angst,” setting off a conversation between the two about why Bachmann faces so much criticism from her colleagues and the press. Bachmann claimed she has “stalkers” at “a competing cable network,” presumably referring to MSNBC. (Note to Michele: O’Reilly is actually a stalker.) O’Reilly then offered his own explanation as to why Bachmann is criticized so much, contending that it’s because she’s so “good-looking”:

O’REILLY: Do you think — and this is an off-the-wall question. And I’m telling the audience that it’s just something that’s occurred to me. Both you and Sarah Palin are good-looking women. I mean, you’re attractive, young — relatively young — women who other women can identify with. You’re a mom, a wife. You had a private-sector job.

I think that’s it. I think that the success of Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann drive the far left crazy because you don’t fit — they don’t like what you believe in, but you can attract others to listen to you. I think that’s what’s going on.

Bachmann responded that she and Palin are pulling away votes from Democrats, “especially in a woman block — a middle America woman block.”

No woman with any self-respect would vote for these morons.

Posted by: drindl | October 8, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Hopefully, FairlingtonBlade makes it to this thread later to crunch the numbers on his Excel spreadsheet.

Posted by: JakeD | October 8, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

How about that hunky father of Sarah's grandson posing nude for Playgirl? He's precious, isn't he? Willing to bare it all to the world.

Posted by: drindl | October 8, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

She's the Terry Shiavo of Congress.

Posted by: drindl | October 8, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Palin will run (whether you think it's an open question or not ; )

Posted by: JakeD | October 8, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

There's more brainpower in a box of Bachman pretzels than in the brain of Rep. Bachmann.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | October 8, 2009 12:39 PM | Report abuse

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