“No Man’s life liberty or property is safe while the legislature is in session”.

- attributed to NY State Judge Gideon Tucker

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

More Reservations About Michele Bachmann

My prior posts concerning Michele Bachmann (spelled incorrectly in the label) all mention her inexperience as an executive.

In my last post I repeated a concern, recently voiced by Dick Morris, that she risks being the conservative or Tea Party equivalent of Wonderboy- long on ideology, short on experience, and no willingness whatsoever to compromise- ever.

As I listened last night to various pundits on Fox News discuss the Iowa Straw Poll results, perhaps Bernie Goldberg's comments on Rick Perry's and Michele Bachmann's religiosity caused me to reflect anew on that strain of the Republican Party.

Goldberg's point was that, in the modern era of campaigning, no candidate can any longer expect to speak to just the audience in front of her/him. Stand-in hostess of Bill O'Reilly's program, conservative radio talk show maven Laura Ingraham, tried to excuse Bachmann's confused explanations regarding her 'submissive' comment by saying that she said it to a friendly church-going crowd.

Goldberg politely but persistently disagreed with Ingraham, noting that Iowa has a preponderance of Evangelical Christians, but that's not going to be true of the rest of the country, and, specifically, not of New Hampshire.

I think he's got a very important point.

For this election cycle, softer social issues are less likely to matter in unseating Wonderboy than clear, concise stands against larger government with more spending, and for a more vibrant private sector. Jobs aren't really the issue, so much as private sector investment and activity. Ideally, jobs will follow, but, really, how, where and when is something we really just have to leave to the private sector.

But Goldberg's point implies that by wearing her faith and religion on her sleeve, Bachmann is probably making a big mistake. And, more fundamentally, may simply be a really bad choice for GOP voters to make. Her insistence on making religion so prominent in her campaign is probably not a winning approach among independents.

Perry has ten years of gubernatorial experience with which to leaven his own religious focus. I don't personally agree with Dick Morris' semi-prediction that Perry will lose to Bachmann in Iowa, to Romney and Bachmann in New Hampshire, and win South Carolina but become a South-only candidate.

For me, considering what occurred in Iowa, then listening to critiques of Bachmann's actions, statements and attitudes in the past week or so, the real concern is that, somehow, the GOP may end up with the wrong presidential candidate. One who won't attract sufficient numbers of Tea Party-like independents.

Romney, everyone generally acknowledges, is soft on real fiscal conservatism. He gave Massachusetts RomneyCare, and now tries to paper over that gigantic mistake. Don't bet on him having true religion when it comes to Tea Party-style fiscal conservatism.

Perry is very populist in his orientation, but I can't stop thinking, as I listen to him, that the nation just isn't ready for another Texan Republican as president. Maybe unfair, but that's what I think.

I don't think Bachmann is really presidential material because she is so strident about her independent stands, while seeming incapable of articulating more productive solutions she would prefer. I suspect that, like Wonderboy, she's a better campaigner than she would be a president. She might even have difficulty with a Republican-controlled Senate and House which are not as far-right as she is.

Karl Rove mentioned that he's heard stories that Chris Christie and Paul Ryan have been so pressed by influential GOP moneymen that both have promised to reconsider their very public refusals to run for president.

Living in New Jersey, I have a close vantage point on Christie. I agree with his belief that he's not ready. He hasn't even cemented his accomplishments here, and makes the occasional public gaffe, like the now-infamous helicopter ride to his son's baseball game.

Paul Ryan is probably more than ready for the Oval Office. In the classic fashion of a manager who has grown into his boss' job, Ryan has done more presidential work as chair of the House Budget Committee than anyone else in Washington. My only concerns are losing him in the House if he loses the nomination and/or general election, and that he may succumb to the Phil Gramm disease. That is, the president is more than accountant-in-chief. Ryan's strengths look good right now, but when actually voting for president, he may look a little narrowly-described.

Then again, if Ryan can pull the independents away from Wonderboy, who really cares? He might be the guy.

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