Bachmann Blows Off NH

August 28th, 2011 at 11:56 pm David Frum | 28 Comments |

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Fergus Cullen itemizes the neglect in his column in the Manchester Union-Leader:

Bachmann has spent so little time in New Hampshire, she’s one of the few candidates yet to appear at campaign trail staples like Politics & Eggs or WMUR’s “Conversations with the Candidates” series. She has held no town hall meetings. Hers is one of the last campaigns without an office.

Not that voters wouldn’t like to meet Bachmann. Interest was strong enough for the Windham event that local Republicans moved the venue and rented a bigger hall. But a week out, Bachmann cancelled on them. The stated reason was the condition of Bachmann’s mother’s health.

A Windham organizer wanted to give the Bachmann campaign the benefit of the doubt. “Maybe they just committed prematurely,” the person said, not buying the pretext about Bachmann’s mom. “If it’s a scheduling issue, just say so,” the Windham voter said.

“It’s just one of those things,” Bachmann state campaign Chairman Jeff Chidester of Rochester explained, struggling to come up with an excuse for why Bachmann hasn’t been here. The campaign is just gearing up. The schedule is in constant flux. Voters are on vacation during the summer. (So Rick Perry was wasting his time here?) It’s a busy time for members of the state Legislature (which hasn’t been in session for a couple of months). The debt-ceiling debate kept her pinned down in Washington, (but didn’t prevent Bachmann from campaigning in Iowa during the debt debate).

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28 Comments so far ↓

  • Hunter01

    Bachmann is looking for an exit strategy. “Family difficulties” of one form or another will be the excuse for checking out.

    Palin’s shown she’s not a player. So now there are two: Perry and Romney, and Romney can’t win the primary. The GOP establishment is beginning to consider the unthinkable: running a third party candidate. But who?

    • Emma

      The pool looks empty, but if they insist on scraping someone off the bottom, they had better do it soon. The base is bonding with Perry.

  • Oldskool

    Nixonian paranoia setting in.

  • TAZ

    I sure hope Bachmann isn’t intelligent enough (as I suspect) to know she is out of the race, she is so entertaining.

    I think she really is a “true believer”, and those people are as enjoyable to listen to as they are rare.

  • drdredel

    If she gets to the primary, I’m sure as hell going to vote for her. I can’t deal with having to watch a Perry/Obama matchup, but Bachman? That would be highly entertaining.

  • andydp

    The more of her legislative record is exposed (nonexistent) and the more people dig behind statements like “I’ll get gas to less than $ 2.00/gal” or “submit to your husband” means ‘respect’ ” the more people will see her as an empty shell.

    I would like to think after having been duped by Gov Palin for the past three years, the American people can recognize empty space when they see it. (<< Not really gonna happen)

    Or to use an historical metaphor: a "Potamkin Candidate".

  • Houndentenor

    Romney’s only shot at the nomination at this point is Bachmann staying in and splitting the social con vote with Perry. If Bachmann drops out, Perry sails to the convention.

    • Carney

      I’m pretty sure Romney’s super PAC will let primary voters know over and over and over that Romney supports a federal marriage amendment while Perry shrugs off NY enacting gay marriage.

      Perry’s social conservative street cred is a house of cards, and Romney’s money is the wrecking ball.

  • Bulldoglover100

    Perry truly does not have the ability to withstand a National Election against someone who can, and will, make him look like another George Bush with a bit of flip flopping John Kerry thrown in to complete the picture. In Perry’s case his baggage is wayyyy to much for the Independents in this country to ever support. That cowboy act has become sickening to many.

  • dafyd

    That is because she is busy talking to God. He told her that he was teaching washington a lesson. Apparently god killed 15 people and caused billons in damage.

  • bdtex

    One has to wonder how her fundraising is going at this point. She spent a lot on the Ames Straw Poll and Perry jumped in that day. In addition to sucking all the oxygen out of the room,he’s probably getting some $$ Bachmann would otherwise have gotten. Besides,NH is Romney country as is NV. She’s wise to focus on IA and SC now.

  • kuri3460

    If memory serves, NH has an open primary system, where the voter can participate regardless of his/her party affiliation.

    In that type of election, Bachman doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of wining, so why not downplay it now?

    • LFC

      “…a snowball’s chance in hell of wining…”

      If you dropped an “n”, I agree. If you dropped an “h”, I wholeheartedly disagree.

  • dugfromthearth

    I think Bachmann is a stupid lunatic. On the other hand she is in congress and has millions of supporter, whereas I make comments no one reads on the internet. So I have to consider that she is not as dumb as she appears.

    I recall an article pre-election asking whether republicans will really try to get elected president. Fox News pays people millions for spouting propaganda. Rep candidates may simply try to build a cult following and establish their credentials as someone who should be paid millions by Fox to be on tv. Bachmann may be working on her resume for her next career.

  • Graychin

    I don’t think Bachmann is stupid at all.

    What’s wrong with her is that she inhabits a different universe than the rest of us live in.

    • wileedog

      Agreed. There is a big difference between intellectually shallow (Palin) and just plain looney-tunes.

      To pivot off the other article on the front page, I think she definitely is a much bigger policy wonk than Perry will ever be.

      • WaStateUrbanGOPer

        Yes, Bachmann is looney tunes, but she is also– is it really necessary to say this?– “intellectually shallow.” And that’s putting things (as with Palin) a little too politely.

        “Intellectually shallow”: this is the mimimally apt description for a person who claimed– not once, but THREE times within the period of a week– that the Revolutionary War started in New Hampshire. And a person who thinks that the Virginia Arisocrats of the Founding Era were anti-slavery, and that the framers of the Constitution were Fundamentalist Theocrats. Et Cetera.

        I think most persons of average intelligence and information would dispense with such polite expresions as “intellectually shallow” and set Bachmann down as precisely what she is: a moron so grotesque and so macabre that (like her co-Dominionist Sarah Palin) even a person with the most wildly eccentric imagination could never have possibly invented her. As fiction, Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin would be downright fantastic. (Which may be why both women are nearly impossible to parody.)

  • kirk

    Is she crazier than Perry and dumber than Romney or is it the other way around?

    • Graychin

      There are different kinds of intelligence.

      Romney seems to have high intelligence when it comes to numbers and making money. He also seems socially inept, and he has a tin ear when it comes to saying things like “I’m unemployed too” or “corporations are people.” Romney seems disinterested in (or unable to grasp the nuance of) policy matters to the point that policy positions are interchangeable with him.

      Bachmann has no apparent skill in the nitty-gritty of policy. She must have been a hoot as an IRS tax lawyer. But she has an excellent grasp of what she should say to excite her base. However, she seems clueless as to how what she says will be received by an audience wider then her megachurch-attending base. Is she “smart” enough to be able to speak to a wider audience?

      Perry has excellent social skills, but does indeed seem to be a dim bulb in matters of policy – like a certain other Texas governor.

      Three very different people. None of them have all the intellectual parts needed to make a decent president.

  • kuri3460

    I really prefer to blame the system and the voters rather than calling individual politicians dumb or stupid.

    Some of the things that Michelle Bachman, Rick Perry, and Ron Paul say in public are reckless and utterly abhorrent. However, it’s not like these people campaigned as reasonable moderates and suddently took a hard turn towards the fringes once they came into office. When you draw the overwhelming majority of your support from conservatives who are fed up with what they perceive to be an overbearing Federal government that wants to destroy freedom and give handouts to people who haven’t earned them, you’ll follow a relatively predictable routine in public. If you don’t, those voters will replace you with somebody who will.

    Until the public starts demanding sober, reasonable, pragmatic politicains who know how to play nice, this is what we should expect.

  • Rillion

    She knows she has no hope of winning NH, so why waste any money there.

    At this point in time her hope will be to win Iowa, then Romney wins NH, then she will need to win SC. At that point she hopes Perry will now be out of it and it is just her and Romney and she can rally the base.

    Meanwhile Perry will need to run strong against her in Iowa either winning or coming in a very close 2nd. Then Perry will place in NH (top 3 is fine for him) and count on winning in SC. That will give him some momentum going into Super Tuesday where he can sweep the souther states while Romeny takes the northern states. At that point Bachmann is toast and its a Perry-Romney race.

    For Romney, he is counting on winning NH then hopefully winning SC or at least coming in a strong 2nd. With a couple wins elsewhere (Nevada, Wisc) he will then be going into Super Tuesday with some momentum although he is still going to have a tough time beating Perry in the southern states voting on Super Tuesday (Texas, OK, Tenn) and to a lesser extent Virginia.

    • WaStateUrbanGOPer

      Pretty good analysis, Rillion.

      Thank God coastal Republicans aren’t as batshit or stupid or ignorant as their co-partisans out in interior. It’s nice to see that Michele Bachmann has no illusions about her chances of winning in a relatively civilized state like New Hampshire. Like Palin and Rick Perry, she’s a paragon of the concept “government for the stupid, by the stupid.” She’ll of course do much better in states like Iowa and SC, where voters can “identify”– as the politics of PC, no longer exclusively leftwing, have it– with her crackpot religious views, her down home ignorance and her overall philistinism. States like New Hampshire and (say) Oregon, as members of the first world in good standing, are above this sort of atavistic nonsense. (And in the particular case of NH, I would surmise that Bachmann’s idiotic comment about the Shot Heard Round the World being fired there did her no favors with its voters.)

      Per your analysis above, Rillion, I’m curious: for all of Bachmann’s heavy investment in trying to win Iowa, does it not seem that the most likely result of her effort there will be to split the Christianist vote with Perry and thus hand the state’s delegates over to Romney?

      • Traveler

        Perry had not announced yet, though that was obvious. So still a valid surmise. But to think she anticipated that seems dubious. I sense more respect for her wily ways from other commentaries lately, so maybe she is that crafty. But I doubt it. I think she has unerring aim for her foot.

        Pass the popcorn. Letting IA, NH and SC handicap your inmates (oop’s candidates!), you are guaranteed success. In electing Dems.

        • WaStateUrbanGOPer

          I don’t at all think that she would want to throw the primaries to Romney by way of a Christianist split with Perry. That’s probably the outcome she would find the least desirable.