Wednesday, July 13, 2011

What Michele Bachmann should say if she wants to be President

Let me preface this like I did my post on Mitt Romney: I, like most Americans, definitely don't want to see a Bachmann presidency. However, I'd happy accept her as the GOP nominee, and think she could be to the United States what Christine O'Donnell was to Deleware.

If she wants to become President, during the next debate I think she should make a statement to this effect:
"In the past six years, we've gone through three 'change' elections and the leaders of the House and Senate haven't changed through any of them. Last year, in the midst of a ground-swell movement aimed at returning us to our founding principles, we were told that Tea Party activists could trust the Republican party to do what was necessary to solve the out-of-control government spending and stop the growth of our national debt. Then when it came time to turn words into action we had one GOP leader suggest we actually give Barack Obama more power so he could raise the debt whenever he wanted, and another that agreed to the end of the Bush tax cuts and a host of other job-killing tax hikes. That's not what we voted for, and it's not what the American people want! It's time that we give real change a try!"
My advice to Bachmann is the same as my advice to Mitt Romney: she should play to her strengths, which lay with the Tea Party activists and her image as an independent figure. I don't think she has much of a chance of ever convincing the GOP leadership that she's the most capable candidate of beating President Obama. They're probably doing what they can to defeat her already. And the faction that backs her is going to be furious if the Mitch McConnell compromise is passed ( it looks like it will). They firmly believe that the country wouldn't be damaged if the debt ceiling wasn't raised, and that it would even prosper. They'll feel betrayed; the Republican party humored them to get their votes, with no intention of following through on their issues. They'll be right on the latter point, and delusional on the former.

It's not her putting all of her eggs in one basket, but rather realizing there's only one basket available to her. The only question is that of timing- when should she say this? Whenever she does, it'll be sure to make headlines. She could do it at the next Republican Presidential debate in August. The wounds will still be fresh for the Tea Party, and two consecutive debate wins would help confirm her as a top-tier candidate. Then again she might limit the blow-back from this if she waits to make her attack until after Iowa, but before New Hampshire. I think she is the favorite to win Iowa anyway, and this rejection of the status-quo could be attractive to New Hampshire and its proud independent streak. Between the two options I'd lean towards sooner rather than later. Her polling in Iowa looks good now but she shouldn't take anything for granted and assume she'll be in a strong position later.

Another benefit? It will lead to murmurs of a third party run. I might even suggest she have her staff put out rumors of its own. The last thing in the world the GOP wants is a split ticket. So, counter-intuitively, by calling into question its leadership Michele Bachmann might actually lessen the GOP's efforts to push her out of the race.

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