Skip to comments.Bachmann's inexperience
Posted on 07/13/2011 4:57:47 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
A COUPLE weeks back, I argued that Michele Bachmann's lack of relevant experience makes it unlikely she'll win the Republican nomination. This elicited several thoughtful responses worth addressing, especially in light of Tim Pawlenty's recent digs at Ms Bachmann's lack of qualifications.
Jonathan Chait suspects that "the Bachmann skeptics think she'll implode largely because she reminds them of Palin, when in fact she has a professional staff and is far more in control than Palin". Ms Bachmann does not in fact remind me much of Sarah Palin. I agree that her cannon is not as loose as Ms Palin's, and that her operation is all-pro. I'm also of the opinion that Ms Bachmann is a quicker study than Ms Palin, and she does not seem to be motivated by anything like Ms Palin's vainly self-righteous sense of martyrdom. Nevertheless, she's in over her head and I think it shows.
I also don't think she'll "implode". I think the Republican Party has a long history of nominating familiar, abundantly experienced old hands. Ronald Reagan was a 69-year-old two-term governor of America's most populous state. George H.W. Bush was a two-term vice-president who had served as the director of the CIA, as a congressman from Texas, as an ambassador to the United Nations, and as head of the Republican National Committee. Bob Dole was a war hero who spent 27 years in the Senate, where he served twice as majority leader. George W. Bush was the popular two-term governor of Texas, a huge state whose economy " is roughly equivalent in size to the economies of Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, and the Philippines combined." His dad had been president. His brother was governor of Florida. John McCain was another war hero (the son and grandson of Navy admirals) who had served in the Senate for over two decades. Michele Bachmann is a former tax attorney who has served six years in the Minnesota state senate, and has represented Minnesota's 6th district in the House for four and a half years. One of these things is not like the others!
I think it's hard to gainsay Tim Pawlenty, a former governor of Ms Bachmann's home state, when he says of Ms Bachmann:
"With all due respect, she just doesn't have that kind of experience, and secondly her record in Congress...is again, great remarks and great speeches, but in terms of results and accomplishments, nonexistent."
Ms Bachmann is directly in Mr Pawlenty's way, and he'll keep hammering her inexperience. It won't help him much, but it will hurt her. For now, Mitt Romney's wise mostly to ignore Ms Bachmann, but if she wins Iowa and gets a big bounce coming into New Hampshire, I think he'll be more than happy to repeatedly compare resumes. My best guess is that just as soon as America's conservative voters start to really tune in to the race, and are confronted repeatedly with Ms Bachmann's startling lack of qualifications, her rose will go bloomless.
Daniel Larison says that Ms Bachmann has "the same intangible quality that made Huckabee into a significant challenger in 2007-08, and Bachmann is poised to build on what Huckabee achieved." I agree Ms Bachmann projects an air of conservative authenticity, but I don't think she's poised to build on Mr Huckabee's rather limited achievements. She lacks Mr Huckabee's decade-long record of executive experience. I may be forced to eat my sneaker, but I insist experience matters to conservative primary voters.
Mr Larison goes on to say that I am
"normally hyper-sensitive to the presence of what he would call Christian nationalism in American politics, but he seems to have completely missed that Bachmann can rely on evangelical identity politics and nationalist appeals to at least as great a degree as Palin and perhaps as much as George Bush before her."
I deny that I've missed Ms Bachmann's Christian-nationalist identity politics, which would be rather like missing the odour of a nearby hog farm. I think her pious, founder-flogging "constitutional conservatism" may well carry her to victory here in Iowa. But I don't think that's enough. I just don't believe that the tea-party movement has displaced the party of Bob Dole to such an extent that lifelong Republican stalwarts will alight from their Lincolns and Buicks, shuffle into the nation's middle-school gymnasia, and decide to take a flyer on St Cloud's greenhorn congresswoman.
Ross Douthat gets it right:
Romney remains a weak frontrunner, to be sureweak enough that I was sure he was a dead man walking a year ago. But the candidate who beats him has to peel off some of his moderate-establishment support as well as mobilizing Tea Party voters, and such a candidate hasnt yet emerged. It mightmightbe Rick Perry, but it isnt Michele Bachmann. I have no doubt that she can give him a serious scare, but it will be the kind of scare that Jesse Jackson gave Michael Dukakis in 1988, or Jerry Brown gave Bill Clinton in 1992enough to earn her a nice convention speaking slot, but not the nomination. She might even get on the nominee's VP short-list, though I don't think she's got the credentials to get picked. In any case, I'm sure she'll kill at convention.
She can’t be any more inexperienced than 0.
Not according to the recent polls. Voters in IA and NH don’t seem to care that she has less “experience” than Mittens and T-Paw.
It is, but does the author really think that means conservatives will just go to Romney?
He fails to mention Cain...
And if “experience” is going to be the deciding factor then it will be a problem for Palin too. Mittens, T-Paw and Perry all have more “experience” than she does.
I have more executive experience and foreign policy credentials than Mr. Obama. So do many others here and elsewhere. Do we want more OJT?
She has a private business. That is executive exprience far more relevant than being a career politician. Moreover, the President sets policy. Implementation is at the Department level. The issue is principles, not some bogus notion that “experience” as a politician is the sine qua non of “qualification. In fact, having been a politician for more than a few years with no other significant experience is a presumptive disqualifier.
Did W.W. write a like article concerning the AnointedIdiot’s inexperience? =.=
Doesn't anybody notice the complete mess the cowardly entrenched, "experienced" veteran Republicans like McCain, McConnell, Boehner, et al. have made of their party's cause? Hasn't anybody noticed that it's the youngest, least "experienced" Republicans in the House who are taking the firmest stand?
I’ve noticed. That’s why this issue doesn’t get any traction with me. I’m betting I’m not alone among the American public either.
Character is the most important trait in a president, not what they’ve done for a living.
Carter and Clinton had oodles of executive experience. So did FDR.
Bachmann and her husband own a business. Look I know the lack of experience tag will be hard for her to get around but if that’s going to be the deciding factor in the GOP primaries then I don’t think Palin fares much better. Especially considering she never served a full term as governor. Of course her supporters/KADs will explain away why, but not everyone will buy it.
Every single alternative, whether it be Palin, Bachmann, Perry, Pawlenty, Paul, Cain, Rubio, Santorum, or even freakin’ Romney would be a huge improvement on Obama.
Bachmann’s resume is rather thin with no significant accompishments or record of successfully fighting corruption. Add her associations with Rollins and Tokyo Rove is quite unsettling.
Objectively, “Minnie-me” Bachmann lacks the life experiences and successes - America cannot afford to elect another leader seeking On-the-Job-Training.
I agree with you completely. The problem with 0bama is not that he is inexperienced; it’s that he’s a communist! (and a very effective one at that)
The more time a Republican spends as a career politician, the worse he gets, and the less able to articulate simple, principled positions. That’s the problem with McConnell, Hatch, McCain, etc. We need term limits to clean this permanent ruling class out.