Not much has gone well for Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann since she began her campaign for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination late last spring.
Virtually from the onset, her husband and close political collaborator, Marcus, was teased about being a closeted gay man, an idea which caught steam after it was revealed that he operated, in essence, a psychological clinic for self-hating homosexuals.
After this, victory in a key Iowa straw poll was immediately overshadowed by Texas Governor Rick Perry’s entrance into the race, an event which resulted in terrible developments for Michele, as he not only fractured and absorbed much of her support base, but also got the best of her emotionally in a televised debate over the ethics of providing preadolescent females with vaccinations to prevent cancer. As if all of this were not bad enough, influential figures within the Buckeye state’s theo-conservative movement have actually encouraged her to drop out so another candidate, either Perry or former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, can receive the full support of fundamentalist Christian voters.
Watching cable news a few nights ago, I noticed her being interviewed by an awkward anchor who gently asked Bachmann if she would consider ending her run and endorse a more electable candidate. He was treating Iowa as if it were already a lost cause for her, and any possible win beyond that as improbability defined. She kept her cool and smiled, though it was plain to see that she was betraying her feelings on both counts. Instead of attacking the notion of quitting, however, she treated it as being totally out of the question. Why? Because, if memory serves, failure was simply not an option as far as she was concerned.
It is Bachmann’s resilient can-do attitude and, I do believe, simplicity of heart that make her candidacy so outstanding. Though I feel that she is far too inexperienced and blinded by extreme religious beliefs to be a serious contender for the presidency, one thing she has been is consistent. Consistent in nauseating social policies, horrid campaign tactics, and, at times, bombastic rhetoric over simple facts? Absolutely. Nonetheless, she has a remarkable depth of knowledge about fiscal and national security matters alike. In that same interview, she likened herself to Margaret Thatcher; a strong-willed conservative woman capable of facing even the toughest governmental challenges before her. It is very sad to say that this could so easily be true if it were not for her critical deficits in understanding the dynamics of a secular society and fostering polished presentation skills.
All things considered, she is the best thing that the ultraconservative front has going for it, which is why it is completely unsurprising that she was thrown under the bus. Knowing the ins and outs of the legislative process in a way that only Perry could have the capacity to dream of (on second thought, Perry might not), and possessing an energetic spirit that exposes Santorum’s wet cardboard for exactly what it is, Bachmann would have been a respectable opponent for a more mainstream candidate along the lines of Mitt Romney or Jon Huntsman. Alas, she will more than likely wither away after an embarrassing defeat in her birth state of Iowa, leaving the far right to busy itself with Perry, Santorum, and, if he has not done himself in with his own sheer idiocy masked in supreme arrogance by this point, Newt Gingrich. At any rate, her steadfastness and will to meet an obstacle must be commended.
Michele Bachmann, this Teddy Roosevelt-Nelson Rockefeller-Dwight Eisenhower Republican wishes you nothing but the best in your future personal, though not necessarily partisan, endeavors.
Originally published in Blogcritics Magazine: http://blogcritics.org/politics/article/the-gentlewoman-from-minnesota-a-salute/#ixzz1i9KL7pjA
Joseph F. Cotto is a scholar and columnist from central Florida. Most often writing about political affairs, he is a member of the all-but-extinct Rockefeller wing of the Republican Party, taking conservative stances on fiscal and national security issues while being a staunch centrist on social matters. For several years, he was an accredited reporter for Wikinews, Wikipedia’s news subsidiary. There, he covered major stories such as the 2008 presidential election and interviewed personalities ranging from former U.S. senators to filmmakers. He is currently at work on a book about American politics.