Bachmann is running for president

(Note, June 14: Reader Steve W., below, is very critical of Bachmann based on her e-mail. June 15: A reader who personally knows Bachmann explains the e-mail.)

Rep. Michele Bachmann has sent an e-mail to her supporters announcing that she has filed papers with the Federal Election Commission today to create a presidential campaign committee. She writes in part:

We will plan on making a more formal announcement and entrance into the race later this month from my hometown of Waterloo, Iowa but I feel so strongly about what is happening to our country that I couldn’t wait even one more day to begin this campaign!!

And the fact remains that our country is headed in the wrong direction under President Obama’s leadership. Our federal government has grown far beyond its constitutional boundaries. Our economic recovery is in shambles, our standing with our international allies is strained and our core American values and freedoms are under constant threat.

We cannot risk giving President Obama four more years to dismantle our nation. We must act now. That’s why I’ve made the decision to get in this race. As a mother, wife, small-business owner and public servant, I believe I can offer the leadership and passion our Party needs to win the White House.

Our country is in desperate need of a leader who will restore constitutional conservative values to our federal government. President Obama must be held accountable for the far-left agenda he has implemented while in office. I intend to hold him accountable, and if elected I pledge to dismantle Obamacare, reduce our growing debt, provide the private sector with the resources needed to create jobs, and strengthen our national defense.

The AP has a surprisingly positive story on Bachmann’s presidential declaration.

- end of initial entry -

June 14

Steve W. writes:

I like Michele Bachmann and think she is a positive force in American politics (at least compared to the politicians on the other side of the aisle). Based on this email announcement, however, I am deeply skeptical that she is anything other than a partisan Republican hack who talks about “restor[ing] constitutional conservative values to the federal government” but, at the end of the day, is committed to little more than tinkering at the margins of the liberal welfare-regulatory state. Like a typical Republican, she blames President Obama for the nation’s ills, apparently believing that everything was hunky-dory under President Bush, President Clinton, et al.

Her top priority is repealing Obamacare, which, while important, merely restores the status quo ante, under which our health care system was moving in an increasingly socialist direction (Medicare is socialized medicine for the elderly, who consume the majority of health care resources). She then says she will “reduce our growing debt.” That appears to be a carefully-worded phrase (Bachmann is an accomplished lawyer) intended to provide her with wiggle room to avoid making hard fiscal choices. She is not committing herself to a balanced budget amendment. She is not committing herself to reducing the national debt, which requires that the federal government spend less than it takes in, which in turn requires serious entitlement reform—which she does not mention in her email. At most, she is committing herself to reducing the rate of growth of the debt. This, quite frankly, is a cowardly position—and hardly what Tea Party voters want to hear. She then says that she will “provide the private sector with the resources needed to create jobs.” What does this mean? Is she committed to lowering taxes and regulations on business? If so, why doesn’t she say so? And does she really believe that the federal government has “resources” that it can “provide” to the private sector for job creation? I hope her understanding of economics is not as weak as this statement suggests.

Lastly, she says that she will “strengthen our national defense.” Oh, brother, this is such a tired Republican talking point, and one that bears no relation to reality circa 2011. The American military is enormously powerful (albeit stretched thin). There is no serious military threat to American national security in the world today. So what does Bachmann mean by this vacuous statement? Notably missing from Bachmann’s email announcement—which she felt such urgency to disseminate—is any mention of our overseas wars or legal or illegal immigration. Huh??? Is she purposely avoiding “controversial” issues? It appears so. For me, this email announcement—her first statement as a presidential candidate—is a major disappointment. Did Bachmann give serious, mature consideration to this email before releasing it? It doesn’t appear that she did. Or if she did, she is not as smart and astute a politician as her supporters say. Then again, if she really believes that being a mother and a wife qualifies her to be President of the United States, this is probably the best we can expect. I’ve just crossed another GOP candidate off my list.

LA replies:

I think you’re being too hard on her, based on very little evidence. This was an informal e-mail sent to supporters to tell them she had filed for her candidacy. it is not a formal statement of her candidacy. Do you actually expect her, in such an e-mail, to get into profound and difficult questions such as the Republican responsibility for our fiscal ills? Any politician is running first and foremost against the other party, and that has to come first.

Before making such a final pronouncement about her and saying that you’ve crossed her off your list, how about seeing what she says as a candidate? While I like her, and like her better than any of the other candidates, I do not support her yet. I need to know more about her. I certainly wouldn’t dismiss her on the basis of one e-mail.

Steve W. replies:

Yes, I do expect a candidate for President of the United States not to treat her first announcement to the public, however “informal” it may be, as a throwaway. She obviously put some thought into her email. Either it represents a serious statement of the nature of her candidacy or it doesn’t. If it doesn’t, then she should not have sent it. Either way, I am unimpressed.

LA replies:

I agree. But saying that you’re “unimpressed” is very different from your original comment that you’ve written her off.

Robert W. writes:

I find this woman mighty attractive. The way she dresses. She’s just a healthy, old fashioned farm girl (from the Iowa corn fields).

LA replies:

I had thought she was in her forties, until, a while back, I found to my surprise that she was 54. She’s a fine looking, even beautiful, woman. But she’s good looking in a way that doesn’t draw excessive attention to herself and make people go crazy (whether in love or hate), the way Palin does.

D. from Seattle writes:

Steve W. said that he liked Michele Bachmann but that, based on her email announcement of her candidacy, he’s deeply skeptical that she is anything other than a partisan Republican hack. So I have to ask Steve: on what basis does he like Michele Bachmann?

Had Steve read anything about her in the past, such as for example the WSJ interview you linked the other day, or her Wikipedia page, or other sources, he would have found plenty to disprove his complaints about her being just a hack based on nothing more than a short email announcement of her candidacy. An email announcement isn’t where you explain your policy in details.

Steve also said that Bachmann blamed Obama for everything and that she believes that everything was hunky-dory under Bush and Clinton. Again the linked WSJ interview disproves this claim, for those who bothered to read it: as one small example, Bachmann blames the 2008 financial meltdown on the Community Reinvestment Act passed all the way back under Carter and on further policies enacted under Clinton.

Steve W. writes:

Yes, D. from Seattle, I’ve read the WSJ interview with Bachmann, which is one of the reasons I was so disappointed in her email announcement, which is terrible on so many levels. Based on the email, she sounds to me like a typical Republican politician, not the courageous Tea Party reformer we have been led to believe she is. Am I reading too much into the email or giving it too much weight? Perhaps. But that Bachmann decided to make this email (with multiple exclamation marks!!) her first public statement as candidate for President of the United States, in my opinion, does not speak well of her nascent campaign.

June 15

Ferg writes:

In reply to Steve W. I have known Michele fro eleven years and have been a supporter of hers throughout that period. I too was somewhat disappointed with the Republican boiler plate in her email. However, those were not her own direct words but those of a speechwriter or staff member.

I have heard her speak live many times at functions formal and informal, both as a candidate for the Minnesota State Senate, and for Congress. She speaks as a Tea Partier and always has. She stand square for her principles every time she speaks. She is not afraid to speak out against what we are doing in Libya and Afganistan and the horrors of the budget mess, to speak for the need for Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid reform, the right of all to keep and bear arms, the right to life, drilling in Anwar and in North Dakota, Montana, and off shore, to oppose the nonsense of global warming, the fatuity of evolution of species, and on and on and on. I have never heard her back down from these positions, nor fail to speak out against other Republicnas who fail to stick with the conservative program. Yes, that email was largely boiler plate. I am disappointed that she did not take a personal hand in the writing of it, but it was just a normal blast email that her campaign office puts out regularly. These are staff generated fund raising and support seeking letters to a massive mailing list. They go out weekly, and more often if there is something to announce. She has a very busy life with a husband, five children, a small business, her Gongressional responsibilities, and numerous public appearances and speaking engagements. She cannot possibly take the time for all the rountine corespondence herself. When I see her I will speak to her about it, but i think this is probably low priority.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at June 13, 2011 09:31 PM | Send

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