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From “Queen of the Tea Party,” Matt Continetti’s cover story on Michele Bachmann, in the current issue of the Weekly Standard:
“I think Bachmann’s chances of landing on Jupiter are higher than her chances of being nominated,” Republican strategist Mike Murphy told me in an April interview for Washingtonpost.com.
Well, get ready for an interplanetary expedition. Bachmann is a far more serious candidate for the Republican nomination than her reputation would suggest. She’s a talented fundraiser who raised $13.5 million for her 2010 reelection campaign. She’s a television star who appropriately tailors her message to her audience. Her combativeness will delight conservatives eager to fight Barack Obama. Her movement credentials—she founded the House Tea Party Caucus—put her at the cutting edge of right-wing politics. And in a primary campaign where authenticity counts, no other candidate has Bachmann’s unique history: an Iowa native who put herself through law school, raised her five children and took in 23 foster children, and has never lost an election for state or federal office.
I think twice before disagreeing with Mike Murphy–and then disagree anyway. Bachmann’s no flake or right-wing extremist. As Matt’s long and beautifully written story makes clear, she’s a principled conservative, enormously impressive as a wife, as a mother, as a working woman–and as an immensely skillful politician.
Maybe things will change–maybe, for instance, Tim Pawlenty will at least discover, somewhere deep within himself, some willingness to display some fight, or maybe Rick Perry will announce, reshuffling the entire race. But as matters stand now?
I’m for Michele.