How to Define Bachmann? 'Extreme'

'New Yorker,' 'Newsweek' profiles reveal Tea Party favorite's challenges for 2012
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 8, 2011 1:59 PM CDT
How to Define Michele Bachmann? Extreme
In this June 29, 2011 file photo, Republican presidential candidate,Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., speaks in Charleston, S.C.   (AP Photo/Andy Dunaway, File)

(Newser) – Michele Bachmann kicks off the week as the subject of two profiles: A Newsweek cover story (whose cover image many, many people are calling creepy) and a New Yorker piece. Both suggest she's poised to do well in Iowa’s upcoming straw poll, but faces major hurdles to winning the Republican nomination. Some key points from the profiles:

  • In Newsweek, Lois Romano points to concerns over "the perception of hypocrisy": As a lawyer, for example, Bachmann represented Tea Party enemy the IRS. She also slammed President Obama’s stimulus, then sought funds from it.

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  • But what could be "more damaging" is the country's growing recognition that the Tea Party movement truly is a radical one, writes Romano. And the Tea Party itself could lose its taste for Bachmann if she places more emphasis on social issues than on cutting the federal budget.
  • In the New Yorker, Ryan Lizza writes that alongside her reputation for verbal gaffes, her personal history includes “a set of beliefs more extreme than those of any American politician of her stature."
  • Lizza notes that Bachmann’s law school had trouble getting accredited because “the Bible, not the Constitution or conventional jurisprudence, guides the curriculum.”
  • Her personal stories are a little mixed-up, Lizza writes. She set a detailed family history in Iowa when in fact it occurred in Wisconsin; she calls herself an “accidental candidate,” but she raised the prospect of running for office for a year before doing so.
  • Why does Bachmann, but not Mitt Romeny, get picked apart by Matt Drudge? He's best friends with Romney's campaign manager, explains her speech coach. Bachmann agrees, "You never see anything about Romney on Drudge—ever."
(Read more Michele Bachmann stories.)

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