September 7, 2011

An Opportunity for Michele Bachmann

Texas governor Rick Perry has his first test as a principal in a GOP presidential debate tonight. There is a widespread belief that the other candidates will, as Michael Crawley of Time Magazine has suggested, “pile-on” the new front-runner.
Republican elephant

Crawley suggested that Michele Bachman has a special reason to be gunning for Perry. “Bachmann, who has seen Perry almost entirely obscure her once fast-rising star,” he observed, ”might feel the need to strafe him with her slashing rhetoric.” I’m sure she will.

Assuming Bachmann is not ready to abandon the kind of “slashing rhetoric” she has used in the past, events have given her an excellent jab she can throw at Perry. She can claim that the fires blazing across Texas are surely God’s punishment for Perry’s bad job of running Texas and for his ill-considered decision to run for President.

I can’t wait to watch the debate.

4 comments:

  1. Well, up here in North East, PA (near Erie) it took some doing to watch the debate. Sadly, my husband and I ASSUMED that PBS or at least a major network would carry it and didn't catch on until almost 9:00 that wasn't the case. I called NBC in Erie (had to Google to find out NBC was supposedly carrying it) and the polite young woman who answered said she'd just had to look up who was carrying it because someone else had the same question. Anyway, only MSNBC (which we have not paid to get) carried it. Some more Googling, however, let me know that politico.com was carrying it on-line so we got to watch a good portion of it plus the comments afterwards (glasses required, of course). I was very impressed by the quality of the questions. They were searching, I thought, and unrelenting. Was interesting to hear what Perry had to say after Lionel's reporting on line this afternoon. He did make it clear that he was talking about the man-made effects on global warming, not the fact of global warming itself, and put "his heart" (the commenters agreed that Perry was "heart" and Romney was "mind/adult") into bewailing the immediate economic implications of trying to halt the man-made (supposedly) causes mentioned by only a portion of scientists. And he bragged about Texas's record in cutting down on the emission of certain chemicals simply through local controls; he was opposed to federal controls. --Michele Bachman, according to the commenters afterwards, lost ground. I thought she was very weak on Obama's actions in Libya (if I remember correctly, she accused him of being influenced by the UN--a big no-no for those following in the footsteps of Reagan). One commenter thought Romney had won, that Perry had not made his message any clearer. Both commenters seemed surprised at the enthusiasm of the audience to Perry's stand on the death penalty. Lots of interesting comments on the immigration issues. Ron Paul thought a fence would hem Americans in just as much as it might keep illegal immigrants out. Ron Paul was a clear loser in many of the things he said, although maybe he was right about the fence. Several candidates said a fence wasn't enough. Maybe it was Huntsman (I'm not sure) who said it wasn't enough to have a physical fence if "the magnet" (job, educational, health, and other opportunities) were not taken away. Disagreement over the many law-abiding in other ways illegal immigrants and their children who have been here for many years. --I didn't know Santorum was the son of a first generation Italian immigrant.--Some said the 50s and early 60s practice--that becoming a citizen should entail having to show competence in English and knowledge of American history should be reinstated. I wasn't aware that those competences had ever been eliminated. Does anyone know the details on this? --Overall: again, the commenters I heard thought Bachman was the main "loser", Ron Paul was irrelevant, Newt Gingrich was petulant because he didn't get to talk enough, Huntsman was OK but not a strong player (I didn't really understand that), and the only real game was between Perry and Romney, with Romney the present leader. My husband (the Republican in our family) thought it was all phony posturing, at least on the part of the commenters, treating it like a game instead of as serious, substantive problems.

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  2. Celinda,

    I saw the entire debate, but very little of the analysis, which seemed to involve a cast of thousands.

    My offhand impressions—

    Rick Perry is wrong about so much and clearly is not educable. I thought Huntsman came off looking like the most serious adult. I have a visceral distrust of Romney, though he is clearly more qualified than most. Bachmann is—how can I say it—not deep. Santorum, whom I strongly dislike, still seemed preferably to people like Perry. Paul has a couple of good ideas, but he has no self-awareness of when his ideology crosses the line into insanity. Gingrich is hard to take seriously; he is not cut out to be President. Cain was better than I expected. He has some crazy ideas, but his tax plan is not one of them. The details may not be perfect, but it has its charms.

    My guess is that Huntsman or Romney could give Obama a run for his money. I don’t think any of the others could, and that includes both Perry and Bachmann.

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  3. Celinda,

    One more thing. I agree that the questions asked were very good. It was unfortunate that so many of them were not actually answered. If journalists cannot get a straight answer from a candidate, they should at least note aloud that the question has not been answered.

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  4. Regarding Celinda's comment: "(Perry) did make it clear that he was talking about the man-made effects on global warming, not the fact of global warming itself, and put "his heart" (the commenters agreed that Perry was "heart" and Romney was "mind/adult") into bewailing the immediate economic implications of trying to halt the man-made (supposedly) causes mentioned by only a portion of scientists."

    That portion of scientists - well, it's 98% as reminded by Huntsman. Hardly a "portion." More like, nearly unanimous!

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