How Does Michele Bachmann Change the 2012 Presidential Race?

By YeOldeScribe ~ June 15th, 2011 @ 11:32 pm

It’s a crying shame that everything in politics always seems to happen at exactly the same time. Last week while our writer was still unemployed and had tons of free time, relatively little was going on in the world of politics. Today, there were literally five different events that our writer could have picked to blog about. On the plus side, we’re not going to have to scrape for content for a good long time. On the downside, our posts might be shorter (see the previous post), and we’re going to be covering topics later than we’d like. Oh well.

Today we’re discussing Michele Bachmann’s decision to enter the 2012 presidential race, and what impacts it might have on the other candidates. If you’re an avid reader of Political Progressives, you’ll know that originally, we didn’t think Bachmann would run. In fact, we were fairly confident with that prediction, and we were surprised to learn when she announced she was running late last week.

The reasons for Bachmann not to run were vast and weighty. First, running for president would mean giving up her seat in the House, something we thought would immediately turn her away from doing so. Also, she would split the tea party ticket with Sarah Palin, who we predicted would run. Finally, although she does have decent name recognition, not all of it is good. Let’s take a look at how Michele has been able to overcome each of these challenges, and re-evaluate how she’ll hold up in the primaries.

First – and most surprising to us – was Bachmann’s decision to give up her seat in the House. She can’t run for both the House and the White House, so if she loses her bid to claim 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. as her home residence, then she’s out of politics for a bit. However, with the right team and the right climate, anything can happen. We still don’t think she’ll win the primaries though (and we wouldn’t give her a chance in the general election), so we’re still a bit shocked she made the decision she did. But now that the dye has been cast, that’s water under the bridge.

Another problem she faced was splitting the Tea Party Ticket with Sarah Palin. While we’re quite aware that there is no such thing as an actual Tea Party (and hence no Tea Party ticket), you’d be foolish to think that lobby doesn’t have any power. If the last elections taught us anything besides that people make irrational decisions when reacting to policies they don’t agree with, it’s that the Tea Party means business. Republicans have already brought up a lot of issues they otherwise wouldn’t have just to appease the Tea Party. It’s one thing to have a singular representative from this so-called party in the primaries, but if Sarah Palin does decide to run, then they’ll have two quasi-legitimate candidates battling out. It’s common sense why this is a bad idea – Palin and Bachmann would draw votes away from each other, and neither would win in a primary. So is Bachmann’s recent announcement a sign that Palin may not run? We sure think so. Sarah and Michele are pretty much “besties”, as our writer’s campers would say, and we’d find it hard to believe that they didn’t consult each other before making this decision. We’re guessing that Palin has decided that she’s just fine being a “mama grizzly”, and that she’s realized that her time in the spotlight was over long ago.

Finally, it’s no secret that Bachmann isn’t the most gifted when it comes to saying things. In fact, she’s come up with quite a few clunkers, as a recent Huffington Post article points out. But let’s look at some of the other candidates in comparison. First of all you’ve got Palin, who is the queen of knowing absolutely nothing, as she just recently pointed out with her version of Paul Revere’s famous ride. Then there’s Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul, who not only need brains, but need to stop uttering racist BS every time they open their mouths. Then you’ve got Romney and Pawlenty, who haven’t said anything interesting since exiting the womb. So compared to the rest of her party… Bachmann’s character flaws are forgivable.

That being said, we still don’t think she’s going to win the primaries, and even if she did, Michele would most certainly not win the general election against Barack Obama. If she runs and Palin does not (and the two Tea Party members campaign like crazy together), then she has a shot at finishing 2nd. But we still don’t see the primaries ending in anything except a victory for Romney. He’s got too much going for him, and Bachmann has too much going against her (especially if Palin does decide to run).

So Bachmann’s decision to run does change the race a little bit, but not as much as you’d think. We have her best case scenario as finishing 2nd in the primaries, so nothing major is shaken up. Maybe Romney would have to campaign a little differently. Maybe Palin won’t run now. But it doesn’t change the fact that Romney will still win the Republican primary but lose to Barack Obama in the 2012 general election for the presidency. So while there’s a little bit of a shake-up, it’s not enough to collapse the Jenga tower that is Obama’s 2012 successful run for a 2nd term.

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1 Response to How Does Michele Bachmann Change the 2012 Presidential Race?

  1. Sarah McKinney

    It would be terrifying to have that woman as president, but I agree with you – she won’t get there. She won’t appeal to the moderate and independent voters at all.

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