In Iowa, both Romney and Paul are each up five points among likely caucus goers from a CNN/Time/ORC poll conducted at the start of December. The new survey indicates that Santorum, the former senator from Pennsylvania, is at 16% support, up 11 points from the beginning of the month, with Gingrich at 14%, down from 33% in the previous poll. Since Gingrich’s rise late last month and early this month in both national and early voting state surveys, he’s come under attack by many of the rival campaigns. – CNN Poll: Romney on top, Gingrich fading & Santorum rising in Iowa
Newt’s just so yesterday’s news, as Mitt Romney continues the assault on Gingrich, which was helped out by Republicans and conservatives who know better than to go down that road again.
Joe Scarborough, who was one of the first and most powerful anti-Newt voices to blast on to the scene, and his “Morning Joe” team did more to peel back Newt Gingrich’s real record than anyone. A relentless daily excavation of Newt’s scurrilous political character helped set the stage for Romney’s friends to do the rest.
The headlines today are good for Mitt Romney, very bad for Michele Bachmann.
Politico headline one: Michele Bachmann chair defects to Ron Paul.
Politico headline two: Bachmann chair’s surprise defection.
Des Moines Register: Breaking: Michele Bachmann campaign chairman endorses Ron Paul.
Mark Halperin: Bachmann Iowa Chair Ditches Her for Paul.
CNN- TRENDING: High-profile Bachmann backer deals blow to her Iowa campaign, endorses Paul.
It goes on and on from there.
But as Bachmann’s campaign further collapses, the last right-wing circus performer to get his turn in the ring is now Rick Santorum.
That development made Erik Erickson surly today, because it “[ensures] Mitt Romney wins the nomination.”
At the White House they’ve got to be readying their greatest hits version for the oncoming assault. Obama reelect already unloaded a lot on Mitt Romney, but it didn’t stick with Republicans. You can say it’s because of the lame field, but it’s also because of Romney.
Love him or hate him, Mitt Romney has proved mostly unflappable, except for his moment with Brett Baier that revealed what’s been written about Mr. Romney before. That he is thin-skinned and brittle, something that Obama reelect will mine to the most.
It’s really the perfect match-up, one I’ve been hoping would manifest, which I made obvious, because these two men perfectly represent everything that’s wrong with the Democratic and Republican parties. Obama versus Romney also shows the big two parties as they really are today: corporate, Wall Street candidates vying for top fat cat post.
Neither Barack Obama or Mitt Romney have an ideological core or compass. They’ve both been on opposite sides of issues, playing to expediency in the moment when push came to decision. They are both nonchalant where the working class are concerned, neither able to reach the middle class, with hopes of a relationship with we the people non-existent.
We’re looking at Mr. Cool versus Mr. Ice.
Color me unimpressed.
Bachmann told me in an interview Tuesday that she wouldn’t call herself a feminist—instead, she simply described herself as “pro-woman and pro-man.” When I pressed her on the matter, the Minnesota congresswoman said she sees herself as an “empowered American.” – Kirsten Powers
I’ve been waiting for this particular moment for a long time. The Hillary effect continues to produce political opportunities for women to break out, regardless of whether Michele Bachmann can rival Clinton’s 18 million cracks, though she’s on a course to be the first Republican female to win the caucus state of Iowa, much to T-Paw’s chagrin.
Political moments like this don’t come along often. This has the potential of being a seminal moment for the conservative movement and their outreach to women, though it remains to be seen whether the macho misogynists who run the Republican Party will see this for the historic opportunity it is.
Kirsten Powers gets the story, for which she deserves credit, with her Fox News channel access proving the perfect channel for Bachmann to broadcast the message. That it happens to be the most important breakthrough for the Right where women are concerned is undeniable, though we’ll have to wait to see if they understand what Michele Bachmann has done. I doubt she even knows the importance of what she said, because it takes a feminist to see it.
I’ve written about this for quite some time, wondering what woman on the Right would go beyond contorted conservative feminist-esque rhetoric by offering a positive alternative vision for Republican femmes that left their lame and divisive selective “pro life” mantra behind.
Then along comes a so-called gafferiffic “flake” named Michele Bachmann, the first politically competent conservative female to run for the presidency, offering a free at last path. That she did so in an off the cuff comment to a Democratic feminist is precious.
After watching Palin’s tortured conservative feminist cry when she spoke at the Susan B. Anthony event last year, I wondered when, if ever, conservative females would finally give up the ghost on feminism, a model that can never fit or worked for them, which history has proven. Asking continually why conservatives don’t disavow feminism, with the only answer from the Right sniping derision, which came off as petulant defensiveness.
Since Phyllis Schlafly ruined the Right’s coolness, the Republican Party has been struggling to break out of their past restraints and go beyond their abortion rights opponent stance and selective “pro life” mantra. That Bachmann’s comment comes when modern women are now primarily focused on economic issues makes the timing perfect.
Mrs. Bachmann could potentially change the conservative playing field, going well beyond Schlafly, as well as Sarah Palin’s unimaginative verbal femme contortions, while mining a seminal Republican talking point that is actually modern. Bachman’s premise is that women no longer need a separate activist wing to get what’s due them. Nothing fits the Supreme Court Wal-Mart decision era more perfectly than Bachmann’s “empowered American” mantra, coming in an age of austerity and amidst the Obama era’s diminished capacity for fighting for Democratic Party principles.
Presidential candidate Michele Bachmann has also added to her authenticity while giving Republican female conservatives a genuine path to rhetorical relevancy.
The opening for them came in the 2010 midterms, with women breaking evenly for Republicans and Democrats.
For four decades, the Republican struggle among female voters has been tortured, with the last conservative star Sarah Palin adding to the pretzel logic by declaring an “emerging conservative feminist identity,” a ludicrous pronouncement, because there can be no such thing as “conservative feminism.”
You simply cannot be a feminist if you do not support women’s full freedoms, which the Right clearly does not. Their war against women, which is being waged through their Planned Parenthood assault, but also demeaning women’s personhood through state government ultrasound pregnancy tests, “heartbeat” bills and other invasive laws directed only at pregnant women, proves it conclusively, even as these onerous legislative laws make a mockery of “small government conservatism,” which now only aims to control women’s lives on the wings of extreme ideology.
Into this Michele Bachmann steps, not only declaring the Right’s separate status on the political playing field by rejecting the feminist label outright, but she instead simply offers another label saying she’s an “empowered American.”
Shorter Bachmann: Modern conservative women don’t need your stickin’ feminism. This is the 21st century and I’m an “empowered American.” It’s brilliant, for her purposes and for the agenda of the Republican Party.
It ends the Right’s feminist problem by refusing to play in that ballpark, which has always been the road to set Republicans free.
Most importantly for consevatives, it disavows a concept that’s weakened Republicans and made them seem anti-women, which they are, though with this rebranding they jump beyond the ’70s to a time when new generations have no loyalty to feminism or the times that forged the laws that aid women across the board, no matter a woman’s politics.
Feminism did the work, now Bachmann is trying to lead conservative women beyond the movement that hamstrung Republicans with women for 40 years, while also allowing Bachmann to run for president in a party that doesn’t respect women’s freedoms. Feminism made Bachmann’s “empowered American” possible, because of gains made through this movement. Hey, but who cares, right? Certainly anything that attempts to wash away feminism is good for the Republican Right.
Bachmann affirms equality unequivocally, with no separate status of “feminist” required for her. She is daring Republicans and the conservative Right to break with the divisive and retro “feminazi” Rush ranting and bashing once and for all.
With “empowered American,” Michele Bachmann looks modern, dare I say it, even post-feminism, a term Republicans have tried to use but no one bought, because they couldn’t sell it. But as women now turn to economics as their primary concern the moment is ripe.
This is potentially a phenomenal political moment for Republicans.
However, Republicans and conservatives like Michele Bachmann still can’t effectively answer the most important question of all: Is freedom just for men?
But they don’t care, because for conservatives, invoking God is the answer for everything else.
Discussing Republicans and whether they have a problem with women.
"Michele Bachmann was the first woman Republican to win a straw poll caucus or primary. She made history," said Taylor Marsh, political analyst and author of The Hillary Effect, Politics Sexism and the Destiny of Loss.
"There are personal grudges.. (more at link above)
Forget political pedigree, executive experience or ties to deep-pocketed donors. No Republican presidential candidate is better positioned to capitalize on the recent tide of conservative anger toward President Barack Obama than Michele Bachmann. Her charisma and crossover appeal to both social and fiscal conservatives have the three-term Minnesota congresswoman rising in the polls and primed to make a serious impact on the GOP nomination fight. – Bachmann well-positioned for Iowa, and maybe beyond
So, the Hillary effect continues to pave the way for women, bringing forth the first serious right-wing conservative candidate with a worthy resume, Michele Bachmann, who has just announced her candidacy in Iowa.
CNN’s Peter Hamby’s “charisma and crossover appeal to both social and fiscal conservatives” narrative gets it right.
Coming off her Fox News interview clash with Chris Wallace, today Michele Bachmann continues to gain traction with Republicans. But as Karl Rove said several weeks ago with Bill O’Reilly, the path to the presidency via the House is arduous, dismal and unsuccessful.
The National Journal has an interesting piece on Bachmann:
Bachmann goes out of her way to portray herself as a different kind of Republican. In an interview with National Journal last month, she talked about her teenage years as a Democrat (she worked on Jimmy Carter’s presidential campaign), her post-doctorate degree in tax law, and the business she started with her husband, Marcus. As she has in other forums, Bachmann also spoke about the 23 foster kids the couple raised in addition to their own five biological children. “People don’t necessarily think of a Republican, especially a conservative Republican, as having a heart, much less compassion,” she said.
[…] All the while professing great admiration for Sarah Palin, Bachmann appears irked by the seemingly inevitable association between her and the 2008 vice presidential nominee. Both are polarizing figures who appeal to—and turn off—the same constituencies. But there is at least one striking difference between the two: While Palin remains at war with what she calls “the lame-stream media,” granting her only extended recent interviews to Fox News (where she’s employed as a commentator), Bachmann has opened her office and her life to the press. She’s also showing she has a lower gear: In an interview Sunday on CBS News’s Face the Nation, Bachmann more narrowly focused her criticism of Obama on his stewardship of the economy and suggested she regretted calling him “anti-American” in 2008.
Bachmann is understandably “irked” by the Palin association. While Sarah readies for her close-up in Iowa over a movie meant to reinvent her, Bachmann’s running for president with her stock going up on the Right every day, but not because of some publicity stunt. It’s because as she goes into the “lamestream” media’s sights she seems to have learned from her innumerable gaffes, with the pros on her team schooling her on being a disciplined candidate, with Bachmann humble and willing enough to listen, which is paying off.
Sarah Palin’s refusal to listen to Roger Ailes after the Loughner tragedy in Arizona is a prime example of why Sarah’s seen as frivolously silly in comparison.
Oh, how the flop sweat inside team Timmy Pawlenty’s campaign headquarters must by pungent about now.
There is no right-wing Republican candidate that can take it to Pres. Obama better than Bachmann. It’s early, but she’s making a case that she’d be a formidable vice presidential candidate on the GOP ticket, especially if Romney continues to soar with the establishment, if Republicans can get over their Sarah Palin veep disaster nighmares. Unlike Palin, in a debate with Joe Biden, Michele Bachmann wouldn’t be forced to ignore questions because she couldn’t answer them or rely on tricks to remember Biden’s name.
Bachmann won’t get the credit, but right-wing politics aside, she’s the first credible conservative female candidate in modern Republican Party history.
And though I don’t expect a nomination fight to rival 18 million cracks in the presidential glass ceiling, it’s always a good day when competent, serious females vie for the highest office in the land and in the modern world. It’s just alarming that women like Bachmann are doing it on a platform that includes taking freedoms away from women.
photo via Jon Karl on Twitter