Monday, August 8, 2011

Michele Bachmann's development and formation


I've listed the most interesting anecdotes and themes from Ryan Lizza's long, new profile of Michele Bachmann.

1. Solid team. She's surrounded herself with professionals, including a debate and speech coach that led Jerry Falwell's Liberty University to tops in the nation. The coach has also worked with Palin, McCain, and George W. Bush.

2. The Bachmann Team thinks Drudge is for Romney. Her debate and speech coach explained why he thought Drudge ran a headline, noting her "John Wayne" gaffe.

“Matt Rhoades [Romney's campaign manager] and Drudge are best friends.”

Bachmann answered:

“You never see anything about Romney on Drudge—ever."

I'd dispute the premise behind that. Yes, it does seem that Romney isn't on Drudge as much as Palin and Bachmann, but only because Romney's chosen to limit his media appearances over the past few years, and media appearances generate news and headlines.

Romney doesn't, for example, take mysterious, cat-and-mouse bus tours.

c. Her signature line. According to campaign aides, it's "Make no mistake about it -- Barack Obama will be a one-term president."

3. She didn't buy Chris Wallace's apology. After the Fox Sunday host put out a video statement, saying he was sorry for asking Bachmann if she was a "flake", the Minnesota Congresswoman told her team:

"It was pretty weak, I gotta say.”

4. Her husband doesn't like being called gay. He wanted to know if "silver fox" was innuendo for being gay and was relieved that it wasn't.

5. The Bachmanns backed Jimmy Carter in 1976. They related to his religious faith, but four years later, they supported Ronald Reagan's campaign.

6. All six of her former colleagues questioned her experience at the IRS. According to the sources, she did "lightweight stuff" there.

7. Bachmann's jet. She calls it her "Barbie jet" in honor of said-doll's Glam Vacation Jet.

8. Faith. Her brand of Christian faith fuses Biblical theology with political activism and has played a vital role in the formation of both herself and convictions.

In fact, her religious formation and development serves as the foundation of Lizza's profile.

9. More mainstream. Even though a unifying force throughout her life has been religious thought and themes, she's started to inch away from former thought leaders by simply keeping silent about them.