Bachmann Headed to South Carolina. But Not To Run for President

Bookmark and SharePolitics is one of those areas where you never say never. In a field where convicted felons can get elected and dead ones can get reelected, anything can happen. In 2006, no one really believed that a young State Senator from Illinois would become President of the United States within two years. And who would have ever imagined that a Saturday Night Live comedian would be able to steal an election to become a United States Senator? So when it comes to the 2012 presidential election , I will not say that Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann doesnt have a snowballs chance in Hawaii, a state she just visited on Wednesday to address conservatives in, but I will say that she is not likely to be the Republican nominee for President. Yet Bachmann has embarked upon a tour of America that forces us to ask, if she is not running for President, what is she doing?.

A few weeks ago she gave an address before a conservative tax group in Iowa. This weekend she heads to Montana where she will be the keynote speaker at the Lewis and Clark County Republican Lincoln-Reagan dinner. Now comes word that on the 19th of this month, she will be heading to South Carolina, an early primary state, and one that is seen as a pivotal prelude to the delegate rich Southern primaries that follow it.

Bachmann claims that she merely wants to be a part of the discussion that takes place in 2012. She says that she wants to make sure that all the right issues are addressed in the right way. But for Bachmann to do that, she need not travel thousands of miles to address relatively small crowds of people every week. As a Congresswoman, she has a megaphone big enough for her message to get out. We all know this. That is why after many repeated questions about a run for President, Michele remained coy but admitted that the option is there and that she does not feel rushed to make a decision.

So what is Michele really doing?

Congresswoman Bachmann is trying to play it smart. Thats what shes doing.

No one really knows what the Republican presidential field will look like in 6 months. Aside from Romney, Pawlenty, Santorum and a few other names like Gary Johnson, Herman Cain and Fred Karger, we really cant be sure which way Republican allegiances will fall, because there is no certainty that other names like Gingrich, Daniels, Huntsman, Barbour, Huckabee, DeMint, Perry, Paul, or Palin, are going to be running. Depending upon the combination of candidates that finally do comprise the G.O.P. field, the possibility exists for a new name to enter the field, one that can consolidate the anti-establishment TEA Party movement and bridge it with the conservative base of the Republican Party.

Right now, few if any names are exciting large segments of the TEA Party and conservatives are not gravitating towards any one name yet. Depending on who finally enters the race, Bachmann could actually be that bridge between conservatives and TEA Party activists. Aside from Sarah Palin, few potential candidates other than Herman Cain, fire up that significant segment of the electorate. And Herman Cain really only has a regional base among those voters in the South. Jim DeMint is another very possible bridge between the Republican base and TEA movement members, but the chances of him running, while existent, are not very high. However; in the likelihood that Palin and/or DeMInt do not run who else is there to fill this TEA Party void? Michele Bachmann.

At the same time, we can not underestimate the ability of a well run campaign from some of the likely names running, to hit the right chords and attract both conservatives and the anti-establishment TEA groups. Mitt Romney may actually be able to pitch his Achilles heal, Romney-Care, as an example of states rights and differentiate his plan from Obamacare by demonstrating that the big difference was the right of the state to enact such a program, while at the same time being something that he always knew was inappropriate for a President and the federal government to impose on all the states. And on top of that, Romney does have a pleasing record of private sector experience and conservative credentials that will be attractive to many in the G.O.P..

Then there is Newt Gingrich. Underestimating him will also be a mistake. Newt is a true ideas man and the combination of ideas and a keen ability to articulate the heart and soul of conservatism and American exceptionalism, may astonish a broader spectrum of the electorate than some expect.

Other candidates who have the ability to tap into the overriding sentiments of the electorate are Mitch Daniels, Haley Barbour and maybe even Tim Pawlenty.

The truth is, the evolving Republican field has the potential to be very crowded and filled with some of the most exceptional leaders the Party has had to offer in generations. In fact it could be so crowded that the conservatives, moderates, and TEA Party activists could be extremely divided and make this one of the closest nomination contests in modern history.

That is where Michele Bachmann comes in.

Bachmann is not going to run for President. She is however going to try to make sure that she selects the next Republican presidential nominee for President.

Regardless of who does or doesnt run, if Bachmann were to run, she would not be able to run for reelection to Congress in 2012 and her congressional seat is her real bully pulpit. However, by simultaneously hitting key primary and caucus states as she tours the country and fires up the forces, Bachmann kills two birds with one stone. She continues to fuel speculation about a presidential bid, a rumor that elevates her stature and solidifies her support from the TEA Party that she has come to represent, and the conservatives that are looking for a hero. This in turn will not only do what Bachmann said and be a part of the discussion, it will also allow her to become a kingmaker.

The Bachmann tour is designed to allow Micheles endorsement to be critical to the likes of a Mitt Romney, Haley Barbour, Mitch Daniels or even a Newt Gingrich. If the G.O.P. presidential field is indeed crowded and if the vote is as divided as it currently looks like could be, Bachmanns fired up conservative and TEA Party forces could make the difference. Especially for someone like Mitt Romney.

To understand some of the motivation behind this, one must realize that Bachmann has found it necessary to make some bold tactical moves that can insure she has a seat at the Washington leadership table. After Republicans took control of the House, Bachmann had hoped to become the House Republican Conference Chair, the fourth highest post in the House. She was ultimately denied this position. Apparently, much of the House Republican leadership was uncomfortable with giving Bachmann the position because many deemed her to be too controversial and believed she participated in too much grandstanding. Imagine that, a politician grandstanding.

While Bachmann put on a happy face and offered her enthusiastic support for the man the leadership did want in the position, Jeb Hensarling of Texas, she was not pleased. Now she is trying to insure that she has a degree of power and influence that even Hensarling wont have..the ability to play kingmaker and determine who the next President may be. Of course in order for to this to work, a few things are required. One; Sarah Palin cant run and two, the field needs to be a crowded one that offers no clear favorite early on.

So despite all the rumors about a Michele Bachmann presidential candidacy in 2012, and regardless of how coy her answers may be when asked if she is running, Bachmann is not running for President but she is running to make sure that she has the ability to pick who the President will be. That said, I must reiterate my early statement……… never say never. In the end, who knows who will be running and exactly where the Republican convention delegates will fall? The Republican presidential nominating contest could be so close that the nominee is determined by Hawaii, where Michele just wrapped up her latest speaking engagement.

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Bachmann’s Speech In Iowa Sounded Like That of a Candidate for President

See the Video of Bachmann’s Entire Speech Below the Post

Bookmark and Share Michele Bachmanns recent high profile visit to Iowa to address a group called Iowans for Tax Relief, helped generate a slew of headlines suggesting that she was dipping her toes into the Republican presidential pool. Now in the wake of her Friday evening speech, it can be said that even though she assures reporters that her appearance in Iowa has nothing to do with personal ambitions” , it can also be said that she didnt sound like someone who wasnt running.

Bachmann claims that she is merely trying to insure that the right issues are addressed in 2012. As such, her impassioned speech to the fiscally conservative tax group did touch upon some of those issues. At one point, she warned the audience that the United States is like a ship steering itself directly in to the iceberg that we see ahead. She spoke of the need to get our fiscal house in order and to tackle specifics such as the repeal of Obamacare.

But the speech was one that was light on detail and heavy on imagery that was based on the story of Bachmanns Norwegian ancestors who risked it all to start a new life in America and helped build this nation up with nothing more than determination and a dream. Bachman declared they did not come here for the promise of a federal handout. They came here to live in this land of limitless opportunity.

She went on to say We are beneficiaries of their courage and I am determined to move the promise of America forward and warned the audience that it is her firm belief that America is under attack from a threat greater than ever before..a cloud of debt.

In what was a nearly 45 minute speech, the Congresswoman offered an historical foundation for what she called our self correcting country. She told those in attendance that they, are that self correcting country and that they, not the politicians are responsible our nations fate. The answer is not with our political figures, as Lincoln told us, it is with you. said Bachmann.

All of this boiled down to a point which called upon voters to focus on electing people who will help us reduce spending, pay off our debt, address the entitlement mentality and get our fiscal house in order by recapturing the spirit of our nations founders.

The address was compelling and spirited, laced with humor and a very personal touch that helped Bachmann connect with the voters in attendance. In the end, it was the type of speech that sounded very presidential. In fact, right out of the gate, Bachmanns introductory remarks sounded like those of a candidate. She started off by reinforcing her Iowa roots which were established in Waterloo where she was born and raised. At times her gushing praise of Iowans credited them with being the nicest, best looking and smartest people of all. She even went to lengths that practically belittled her current home state in front of the conservative Republican audience as she jokingly stated Weve produced a lot up in Minnesota. Hubert Humphrey, Eugene McCarthy, Walter Mondale, Paul Wellstone and even Al Franken. She continued But weve also given you Post-It Notes and Spam, so I guess it balances out.”

In the final analysis, whether her chances are realistic or not, Michele Bachmann’s foray into Iowa, left her foot in the door to a possible run in 2012 or maybe beyond. And from the reception that she received from those in attendance, it looked as though some Iowa Caucus goers would seriously consider caucusing for her if she did run.

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