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Bachmann clearing the brush for Romney

Bachmann clearing the brush for Romney

Michele Bachmann pretty much ended Tim Pawlenty’s campaign.

Bachman attacked Pawlenty relentlessly and took the Iowa straw poll, causing Pawlenty (foolishly, in hindsight) to withdraw.  In so doing, Bachmann eliminated the person who was the most viable not-Romney establishment candidate, a former Governor with a good, conservative record who appealed not only to Romney-supporting Republicans but also the Tea Party movement.

Leaving Romney as the only establishment-acceptable candidate has paid huge dividends for Romney, as the hyperventilated National Review promotion of Romney demonstrates.

Now Bachmann is trying to take out Newt, currently the only viable challenger to Romney if current polling is the measure.  Don’t take my word for it, because you know I’m not a Bachmann fan and have been harshly critical of her.

There are two good analyses today.  While I may not agree with all their conclusions, Byron York and John Podhoretz correctly see the role Bachmann is playing for the Romney campaign.

York, discussing Romney’s strategy of having others go after Newt, writes:

The good news for Romney, of course, was that there were other candidates willing to take up the task of attacking Gingrich.  Foremost among them was Rep. Michele Bachmann, who first attacked Gingrich’s work for Freddie Mac, and then slammed his record on the issue of partial birth abortion….

Team Romney did like it.  And afterward, Romney aides were happy to put in a good word for the congresswoman from Minnesota. “Michele Bachmann is good,” Stevens volunteered.  “She is good.  She’s cogent, she’s smart, unflappable — she must have been a heck of a lawyer.  Very, very good.  Very strong.” The message to Bachmann: Keep at it.

Podhoretz writes:

The Gingrich rocket may have reached its apogee and begun its rapid  descent.

In which case, the beneficiaries will be  Mitt Romney — because he will have outlasted another challenger — and Rick  Perry, who had his best outing since the day he declared for the presidency in  August….

She may not have helped herself, though. In serving as an attack dog, she may  have put voters off; but her attacks may help drive the soft Gingrich voter into  the Perry camp — or even into the arms of Rick Santorum, the only right-wing  candidate in the field not to get his moment in the top tier.

Michele Bachmann never will be President, and contrary to some conspiratorial conjecture, Vice President either. I just don’t think she realizes it yet.


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“Zany” should apply to Bachmann and Ron Paul. At times, she seems a little nuts. But not as bad as Ron Paul. Until last night, I hadn’t paid him any attention. I couldn’t help but listen to him last night, though, as my jaw dropped. He is dangerously nuts.

I know Michelle has her good points, as evidenced by her care of foster children. Michelle, please just be happy doing a good job in Congress.

You nailed it, Professor.
Bachmann is a demagogue. She is a poor role model for the Tea Party and the Conservative Movement. It is ironic, she has never tried to demagogue Romney. If she is playing for the Romney VP slot, she is deluding herself. She won’t even carry MN.
She talks the talk (usually hyperbole) but her legislative accomplishments are very few and far between; unlike the folks she has demagogued. It will be a great day when her campaign is finally over.
As leader of the Tea Party Caucus, I wonder how many of her colleagues have endorsed her run for POTUS. I think we now know what they think of her.

Michelle Bachmann has soured many people because she turned out to be nothing but a smarmy slanderer – and I don’t care how conservative she has been to date or how many kids she has raised. In mere months she has taken whatever political capital she had and flushed it right down the drain. This was a completely unnecessary waste of her duplicitous efforts because she was never going anywhere in this contest from jump.

If Karma has anything to do with it, her future will be wearing a white hat in the 5th level basement of some massive government food handling facility. And I hope it includes a long shift in front of the steam table for brussels sprouts.

Ron Paul went tilt last night.

I seriously think she’s looking for a SecState position ala Clinton.

The only good thing I saw coming from her is the possibility of pushing support back to Gov Perry. Stumbles and all, I still think he has the experience and plans to do it (of course that’s my opinion, take it or not heh)

    janitor in reply to Lord Nazh. | December 16, 2011 at 1:06 pm

    Bachmann could not be Secretary of State because it is now clear that she does not know how to negotiate, compromise, or compete while maintaining friendly relations.

    What comes through with Perry is that he is one heck of a good, trustworthy guy. Solid and likeable. When he knows what he’s talking about, he also has no problem doing so. But his knowledge base on the law and the federal government appears to be inadequate. 2016.

      GrumpyOne in reply to janitor. | December 16, 2011 at 2:51 pm

      You don’t live in Texas, right?

      Perry is as slippery as they get. Add to that a less than effective leader in getting the legislature to enact laws regarding illegal immigration.

      Then there is the toll road financing scam using borrowed money by issuing bonds with junk status.

      Perry is probably the least trust worthy one of the whole bunch…

      She really can’t be SecState because she’s nuttier than a squirrel’s stool.

I”m still waiting to see what exactly Bachmann brings to the party. So far all she has done is try to explain why the other candidates are lacking. That will be Obama’s job in a few months, so why help him out? I think the appropriate way to treat Ms. Bachmann is to let her go back to the House, if she still appeals to her voters. Party cannibalism should not be rewarded with cabinet positions.

He’s not picking her for VP because she hasn’t enough pull to bring in some battleground states. So it has to be a cabinet position. Any ideas which one?

When you play attack dog and turn on your colleagues, no one will trust you. Comes with the job.

As a champion for the “anybody but Mitt” campaign, this site has the long knives out for all that don’t threaten Romney. As I have said here, I am a Bachmann supporter and have been since day one. As such I am and have been indifferent to the Mitt verses Not-Mitt battle that has consumed so many for months. Neither Perry nor Gingrich “out conservative” Mitt. Not because Mitt is truly conservative, but because Rick and Newt have just as many squishy areas. If the race is to be between any of these three, Tea Party types (small government conservatives/libertarians/classical liberals) will be disappointed. Yet any would be worlds better than the current White House occupier.

    William A. Jacobson in reply to bains. | December 16, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    Since when is this an “anybody but Mitt” campaign site. The only person I have expressed support for is Newt. Whether I would support someone other than Romney if Newt was not in the race is not something on which I have taken a position.

      I know you have done yeoman’s work in defending all GOP candidates against scurrilous media attacks, and that you are one of the most level headed critics, but your site has the “anybody-but-Mitt” sound.

Furthermore, I never expected Michele Bachmann to win the nomination. I expected her to force the eventual nominee to adopt more small government ideals.

Bachmann as SecTres would be a godsend IMO.

I broke out laughing when Romney responded to the question about negative campaigning with an answer along the lines of “bring it on, we can handle it.” He hasn’t been attacked anywhere close to the level that the other have been. The MSM is about as easy on him as they are on Huntsman.

    Henry Hawkins in reply to vonbeck2. | December 16, 2011 at 3:21 pm

    The few times Romney’s been attacked during debates, his speech rate doubles, his eyes widen, and a certain desperate tone arises (those are ‘tells’, poker players). Perry in particular finds it easy to get under his skin, and does so with pretty tame stuff. Obama’s team and certain media will have Romney on his knees crying.

Bachman didn’t help herself last night but she effectively showed how stupid and dangerous Ron Paul’s tin foil hat foreign policy was. For that I give much credit. As far as her attack on Newt, it simply made her look simple. It’s too bad a conservative candidate would waste precious time during a debate not promoting conservative ideas and laying waste to Obama’s socialism. Newt has done those things and is the reason he rose in the polling. The one thing I realized during that great debate last night is that I’m profoundly confident in our winning the White House and I’m comfortable with any of those candidates (sans Paul) as a President.

I just recieved an email under the banner of National Review that was a Linda McMahon fundraising lettter. Newt is outside the pale, but the Queen of Wrestling is A-OK?

Just a question… How many Tea Party Activists have actively been supporting Gingrich throughout?

Seems to me that the “groundswell” for Newt is primarily a groundswell against Mitt (as it was with Rick Perry and Herman Cain, and yes earlier for Michele Bachmann).

Any true Tea Party activist has to admit that their support for Gingrich (AND Romney, AND Perry) is predicated upon their belief that a TRUE tea party will not win the nomination, and the Buckley precept comes into play. While all three (Romney, Gingrich, and Perry) mouth statements of support, all three have their fingerprints all over big government legislation.

Yes, any would be better than Obama, but don’t pretend that any of the three is a real Tea Party advocate.

If Romney wins the nomination kiss the presidency good-bye along with the country. We will be snookered. Good-bye to separation of powers (it’s pretty much that way now). Good-bye to a balanced SC. Th liberals will finally win their war against us. Good-bye to a good economy. There is no way Romney can stand against the obama machine AND the active dislike of conservatives. He might draw independents but that’s pretty much it. He would be doing the party a immense favor by withdrawing along with Bachmann, Huntsman, Paul and to my regret Santorum. I would say Santorum is the most conservative of all the candidates but does not have the necessary support. Romney is letting his ambition take precedence over the good of the country.