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Bachmann's inexperience
The Economist ^ | July 13, 2011 | W.W.

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 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 sure—weak 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 hasn’t yet emerged. It might—might—be Rick Perry, but it isn’t 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 1992—enough 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.

TOPICS: Iowa; Minnesota; Campaign News; U.S. Congress
KEYWORDS: 2012; bachmann; michelebachmann; minnesota; palin; pawlenty; police; regulators; romney; socialists; teachers; teaparty
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

BTW, notice “W.W.’s” spelling: “odour.” ...foreigner. That probably agrees with those who would like to continue anti-American trade policies while robbing US oil companies to pay public school teachers.

41 posted on 07/13/2011 6:50:57 PM PDT by familyop (We Baby Boomers are croaking in a thunderous avalanche of rottenness smelled around the earth.)
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To: familyop
The Economist is an English magazine.
42 posted on 07/13/2011 6:57:20 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (I'll raise $2million for Gov. Sarah Palin. What'll you do?)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

She has a lot more experience than the community agitator.

Actually having ‘beltway experience’(go along with the corrupt status quo experience) is part of the problem with politicians.

43 posted on 07/13/2011 6:59:19 PM PDT by doc
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To: Palmetto Patriot

I would look at her, but her lack of any government executive experience is worrisome. Look what we’re dealing with now with a community organizer/college instructor/state senator. Also applies to Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich and Herman Cain.

44 posted on 07/13/2011 7:03:28 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (I'll raise $2million for Gov. Sarah Palin. What'll you do?)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet; BlackElk
Her lack of any executive experience is a problem.

It may well be, but I am extremely skeptical of analysis that relies heavily on past trends in elections of either party.

A first term Senator hasn't been elected in a bazillion years, so Obama can't get it.

A candidate needs either Iowa or New Hampshire or Iowa to have a chance, so Clinton's out.

In the Cold War era, a governor with no foreign policy experience has never won, so Reagan can't win.

Arkansas and Tennessee makes Clinton/Gore an imbalanced ticket. They can't win.

No non-incumbent in his 70's has ever gotten the nomination, so Dole can't get it.

No one since FDR has been elected without military service. Worse yet, Clinton's a Draft Dodger. He has NO CHANCE.

A south-eastern Democrat?! What is this, the 1800s? Carter hasn't a prayer.

Etc Etc Etc, you get the idea.

This is the election of 2012. It has its own dynamic, and past elections are not to be used as a racing form. The sample is too small, and skewed by the frequent presence of incumbents.

Analysts would do well to tell us why people THIS YEAR want the executive experience. Telling me that my grandpa voted for Richard Nixon over George McGovern because of it is not sufficient, nor even necessarily relevant. This is a different Republican base. The Percys and Richardsons and Weickers and Packwoods and Andersons and Bakers and Welds and Heinzes have largely been chased out. They WILL not characterize the party, nor its nominating process in 2012.
45 posted on 07/13/2011 7:30:10 PM PDT by Dr. Sivana (There is no salvation in politics.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
I would look at her...

I believe that the next President will come out of the Republican Primary. I do not believe that the country will re-elect Barack Obama under any circumstances. This is looking more and more like Carter vs Reagan, and represents a historic opportunity for Conservatism.

Having said that, I want the nominee of the Republican Party to be a strong, reliable Conservative.

I am a supporter of Rep. Bachmann for that reason. However, Gov. Palin also has those credentials and would enjoy my strong support, should she become the nominee.

These two candidates are at the top of my list.

46 posted on 07/13/2011 7:34:58 PM PDT by Palmetto Patriot (How much better off would we be if these bastards would just leave us alone?)
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To: doc

defend her experience. tell us about it.

say something about what she did before she was 40, in detail, that would make me think that she should be President, and make me like her.

47 posted on 07/13/2011 7:43:55 PM PDT by truthfreedom
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I don’t need a particular job. I like Paul’s experience, Gingrich’s experience, and Cain’s experience. I just don’t like Bachmann’s resume.

Am I the only one who has actually looked at Bachmann’s resume? It’s not what isn’t there, it’s what is.

Dr. Paul has Duke Med School, Air Force Flight Surgeon, successful medical practice as an ob/gyn, delivered over 4000 babies, married over 50 years, his son is Rand Paul, and a member of the house of reps for a long time. Top stuff. Impressive.

Cain has a ton of business experience plus the more recent radio talk stuff. He was an advisor to Dole/Kemp. Good, serious experience. Chairman of the Kansas City Federal Reserve. Top stuff. Impressive.

Gingrich was the Speaker of the House. That put him where in the line of succession? Who is going to say that Gingrich lacks experience? He has been a household name for 20 years.

Bachmann probably has a worse resume than the typical US Rep.

I say that as someone who likes Bachmann. I’d vote for her in November 2012. But the resume is weak.

48 posted on 07/13/2011 7:54:23 PM PDT by truthfreedom
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To: ejdrapes

When it gets into the real election, when the debates begin, then people will really start paying attention. I think the debates are a great way for the candidate to get past the media fog and really say what he or she thinks. The debates are a great way to educate the people. A candidate who has vision and can speak clearly will sway many people to his/her side. It is not all about public perception until the public actually gets to see the candidate in action during the debates.

49 posted on 07/13/2011 7:54:30 PM PDT by cradle of freedom (Long live the Republic !)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

She can hire staff and advisory experience. Her morals, values and priorities are in the right place. Right now, she is my pick.

50 posted on 07/13/2011 8:01:14 PM PDT by RatRipper (I'll ride a turtle to work every day before I buy anything from Government Motors.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

The problem with Obama is not his resume, IMO. His problem is, he’s a commie with no understanding of economics. Not a problem with Bachmann. She’s smart as a whip, and solid on econ and fiscal policy. Nearly as good as Cain, and she seems to have broader appeal.

Whatever. I’ll vote for whoever among Palin/Bachmann/Cain has the best chance of winning the nomination when my state primary rolls around. I don’t see either Romney or Perry as even remotely trustworthy (not even on judicial nominations).

51 posted on 07/13/2011 8:05:40 PM PDT by CowboyJay
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To: 2ndDivisionVet the media is concerned with “experience”...I get it.

52 posted on 07/14/2011 12:12:43 AM PDT by WKUHilltopper (And yet...we continue to tolerate this crap...)
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