Current Weather
The Spy FM

Are Michele Bachmann’s Best Days On Campaign Trail Nearly Past?

Filed by KOSU News in US News.
August 13, 2011

DES MOINES — These sunny August days in Iowa may prove to be Michele Bachmann’s best as a GOP presidential candidate.

On the eve of the state’s Republican straw poll in Ames, where she is expected to either win or place, the Minnesota congresswoman hop-scotched central Iowa.

She charmed about 100 supporters and the curious in the tidy, Dutch-and-proud town of Pella, and drew easily the largest crowd of any GOP candidates speaking at the Iowa State Fair.

Bachmann, however, ended up giving the expectant fair-goers gathered in the hot, late afternoon sun the short shrift, talking for less than three minutes before hurrying off to another event.

She may come to wish that she had stayed longer to savor Friday’s attention.

Bachmann is expected to win or show in Saturday’s much-anticipated state GOP straw poll. But frontrunner Mitt Romney isn’t participating. And the political spotlight has already shifted dramatically this weekend to Texas Republican Gov. Rick Perry, who will announce his presidential run in South Carolina, and then travel for an appearance in Iowa Sunday.

Though largely unknown outside of Texas and hard-core political circles, Perry’s entry in the race threatens Bachmann’s Tea Party and evangelical base more than any GOP presidential hopeful.

But a cadre of Republican voters, in central Iowa on a mid-August Friday, said that Perry is still a mystery, and Bachmann is not.

“I feel she speaks with truth and authority,” said Kathy Heyveld of Pella, among those who gathered near the Tulip Festival monument to hear Bachmann tout her conservative bona fides.

(She opened her comments lauding the hot-off-the-presses ruling by a federal appellate court that struck down the individual insurance requirement of health care reform.)

“I was looking for her faith, I saw that,” said Heyveld, wearing a Bachmann t-shirt. I really feel she’ll walk her talk.”

Elizabeth Edwards, also of Pella, said that Perry “scares me a little,” and questioned the balance he would strike between religion and governing.

“Don’t get me wrong, religion needs to be a part of it, but there needs to be a balance,” she said.

Edwards watched the Thursday night GOP presidential debate, and said she believed Bachmann’s Minnesota rival, former Gov. Tim Pawlenty “did himself no favors” in strongly questioning the congresswoman’s legislative record.

Bachmann’s appearance in Pella was professional and practiced: a good sound system, banners, flags, and a candidate who, along among the GOP field, already has a trademark line that crowds say aloud along with her.

My goal, she said, is for Obama to be… cue crowd: “A one-term president.”

World War II veteran Jose Vega of Oskaloosa, at the event with his wife, Evelyn, was impressed by Bachmann’s vigor.

“Her voice – the projection was fantastic,” he said.

The Vegas, though, say they are not close to making up their minds.

Evelyn said it’s too early, and there are too many candidates still jockeying for position for her to make up her mind yet.

Says Jose: “I would like to listen to some others, also.” It’s not good news for Bachmann that those others will, soon, include Perry.

And, maybe even Palin, who has perfected the publicity swoop in. She was in New Hampshire the day Romney announced, and popped up Friday at the Iowa State Fair, remaining coy about her White House intentions.

“I hope you can make it to Ames tomorrow,” Bachmann repeated to every person whose hand she shook or placard she signed. “If you can make it to Ames…”

Ames, after all, may prove to be the best day Bachmann the presidential candidate will have. [Copyright 2011 National Public Radio]

Leave a Reply

12AM to 5AM The Spy

The Spy

An eclectic mix of the Spy's library of more than 10,000 songs curated by Ferris O'Brien.

Listen Live Now!

5AM to 6AM Living On Earth

Living On Earth

Living on Earth with Steve Curwood is the weekly environmental news and information program distributed by Public Radio International.

View the program guide!

6AM to 7AM On Being

On Being

On Being engages listeners across the spectrum of belief and non-belief in conversation about life's deepest questions. From autism to the ethics of torture, Krista and her guests reach beyond the headlines to probe faith and meaning, ethics and new ways of being, amidst the political, ecological, economic, cultural and technological shifts that define 21st century life.

View the program guide!

Upcoming Events in your area (Submit your event today!)

Streaming audio and podcasts

Stream KOSU on your smartphone

Phone Streaming

SmartPhone listening options on this page are intended for many iPhones, Blackberries, etc. with low-cost software applications available to listen to our full-time web streams, both News on KOSU-1 and Classical on KOSU-2.

Learn more about our complete range of streaming services

We're perfecting the patient experience - Stillwater Medical Center