The Going Gets Tough for Michele Bachmann

Michele Bachmann
Douglas Graham/Roll Call/Getty Images
Michele Bachmann
By |

Noting Michele Bachmann’s rapid rise from “fringe figure” to “legitimate presidential candidate,” Ed Kilgore, writing in The New Republic, says her campaign is headed into its toughest patch yet. Her background and character will come under a whole new level of scrutiny, as we’ve seen lately in relation to her homophobic husband and her migraines; as expectations for her candidacy mount, so will pressure to top them (anything less than a win in August’s Iowa straw poll will look like failure); she’s no favorite of the Republican Party elites; and if Texas Gov. Rick Perry decides to run, as seems likely, she’ll face her most formidable competitor yet. None of these threats is trivial, but Perry really has the potential to blow Bachmann away. He has no less cred than she does with tea partiers and the Christian right; he’s in with the party establishment; and he has an enviable “story” to tell: that as governor of Texas he presided over an astonishing jobs-boom, while the rest of the nation slumped. So, for Bachmann the easy part is over. “If she hopes to hold on, she’d better batten down the hatches for a very rough ride.”

'Michele Bachmann’s Very Rough Road Ahead' [Ed Kilgore, TNR]