April 5, 2011 Leave a comment
Seems to me that the more Americans see as Michelle Bachman as the face of the Republican party the better that’s got to be for Obama. It increasingly appears by her fundraising and staff hires that she’s going to make a serious run for the Republican nomination. To which I say, “you go girl!” Not to mention, I really want a woman running, whether Palin or Bachman, when I teach Gender & Politics in the Fall. Here, Chait sketches out a seemingly plausible scenario for her to capture the nomination:
But I think Bachmann is a legitimate dark-horse possibility to win the nomination.
Now, my model of how the nomination works presumes the nominee will probably be someone who’s acceptable to both the activist base and the party elites. That argument took me, by process of elimination, to Tim Pawlenty, the only candidate who 1) the base won’t disqualify, 2) the elites won’t disqualify, and 3) actually seems to want to run. But, as Josh Marshall points out, if Bachmann wins in Iowa, she could knock Pawlenty out of the race.
Then what happens? Well, you’d see the GOP establishment scrambling to unify behind a non-insane alternative. But as I’ve argued ad nauseum, I don’t think that will be Mitt Romney. Or, if it is Romney, I think Bachmann could probably beat him. She’d carve him to pieces over health care, not to mention general inauthenticity issues.
If Pawlenty’s got decent fundraising and elite support, I don’t see a sup-par showing in Iowa necessarily knocking him out, but still, this is an interesting scenario. Of course, if this economy is bad enough, even Bachman could beat Obama. But it would have to be really bad.