What follows is an impression or set of impressions rather than a fully formed opinion. Among the declared and potential candidates for the GOP nomination, Michele Bachmann stands out as an integrated human being with a consistent set of positions and view of the world. She is a genuine conservative (as far as genuine conservatism currently exists in mainstream U.S. politics), with a remarkable consistency between her personal and her public selves. In short, she has integrity. With Bachmann, it’s about the policies and principles, not about herself.

Bachmann and Sarah Palin are often seen as the same type, being female Christian right-wingers with a strong base in the Tea Party. However, notwithstanding Palin’s good qualities and the useful contributions she has made to the national debate from time to time, she is liberal-leaning, particularly on social issues, and is far from the right-wing fire-eater she is believed to be. She is also egocentric and terribly unreflective.

My main question about Bachmann at this point is, does she have the intelligence and the breadth to be an effective national leader?

At the least, more attention should be paid to her.

- end of initial entry -

LA writes:

A couple of hours after I posted this entry, at 6:58 p.m., I went over to Newsmax, and saw this:

Bachmann Steps Up to Fill 2012 GOP Void

Tuesday, 17 May 2011 06:20 PM

Tea party favorite Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., is very close to tossing her hat in the ring for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination and may announce her candidacy in May rather than June as initially expected.

Bachmann also revealed Tuesday that she has spoken with former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee since his decision not to run, but would not disclose what they discussed.

The recent announcements by former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and business mogul Donald Trump that they would not run appear to have created a political void that a social and fiscal conservative such as Bachmann possibly could fill.

A former federal tax attorney, Bachmann sounded as if she were on the verge of announcing her candidacy….

May 18

Ferg writes:

I think I have mentioned to you that Michele is a friend of mine. I expect to see her in a few weeks. She is one of my favorite people (not just politicians) and I am impressed by the amount of support she seems to have. Last cycle she raised over fifteen million for her congressional campaign, a new record for a House race, and in a small state too. I am beginning to think there is no end to what she can do when she puts her mind to it. She is one incredible bundle of energy. I hate to see her leave a swing seat in the House, but I would be very happy to see her elected POTUS. At the moment I can think of no one else I would like as well. Who knows? But Minnesota’s record of fielding Presidential candidates is not good. We are too small a State.

Robert B. writes:

Speaking as a Minnesotan who has watched her from the very beginning, I say unequivocally that she is the real deal. The Left detests her with a very unwholesome passion—their repeated attempts to unseat her speak volumes as to her staying power. She is not a masculinized female and does not immasculate her husband. She stands by her very traditionally conservative positions in her private as well as her public life and she does not back down from them.

There are local Republicans who don’t like her—who claim she is a media hog, but my personal view from talking to them is they are just jealous. She is a rising star—and it is based purely on her message and her execution of it.

LA to Ferg:

Do you think she’s smart?

Smart enough to be a president?

Ferg replies:

Brilliant no, smart yes. Smart enough to be president makes me ask how smart some of our past ones have been? I see no reason why she is not smart enough to surround herself with good people. I have known her for eleven years now and she consistently out-performs my expectations. She knows how to raise money and how to win elections, and keeps doing it when people keep saying she can’t. I once thought I knew what was meant by “presidential material,” but I no longer do.

She is now a far better public speaker than she was ten years ago, and is developing some sense for international politics. She lacks executive experience and has not had a lot of time in Washington.

Could she do it? Every time I say no she proves me wrong. So, if it sounds like I am dancing around the question, I am. But I guess I have to say, yes she is smart enough to be president, but she is going to have to learn fast to make it happen. Hope this helps.

Ron L. writes:

While I consider Rep. Bachmann lacking in her resumé and in gravitas, she is the best conservative currently running. The movement conservatives and Republicans have noticed and are attacking her. Let us hope she can answer these charges.

Bachmann is the only candidate opposing our undeclared war on Libya on the grounds that we are helping al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood. Rep. Paul and Gov. Johnson are simply taking the libertarian isolationist line.

She is also the best candidate on immigration.

Irv P. writes:

I was happy to read the kind words about Michele Bachmann on your site. For a while I have known that she is my candidate until someone better comes along, (I don’t anticipate that).

I never discuss her with other people because the media has done a very good job of relegating her to a status of “light weight.” I don’t know enough about her to get into discussions where I would have to produce evidence in my arguments. However, I do know that she has a philosophy and world view that are compatible with mine.

If she has the right people around her to campaign for the nomination, she could win it. I also believe she could beat Obama in the general election. At this point, I think she is the best hope for traditionalists.

May 19

Ferg writes:

Irv P. writes:

“I do know that she has a philosophy and world view that are compatible with mine.” And: “If she has the right people around her to campaign for the nomination, she could win it. I also believe she could beat Obama in the general election. At this point, I think she is the best hope for traditionalists.”

I concur in all respects. The more I think about her as president the better I like it though I am conflicted about losing her as one of our representatives and personally losing the nice informal relationship I have with her now. I doubt I would see much of her were she to become POTUS. She is likable and fun to be around and I would miss the kind of events we have had in the past.

Ferg writes:

You have posted so many good topics in the last couple of days I would like to comment on all of them but there is not enough time and the earlier ones are already lost in time.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at May 17, 2011 06:58 PM | Send

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