Sarah Palin took the country by storm when John McCain announced that the then-Alaskan governor would be his running mate 2008. Her addition to the ticket created an enormous amount of political buzz and created a lot of good will with the base of the Republican Party.
While there is no doubt that Palin broke through the glass ceiling for Republican women on the national stage, she now shares that space with another woman, Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann.
Bachmann was the guest of honor for Congressman Steve King’s annual Defenders of Freedom banquet on Saturday night. The event drew about 500 people, many of whom were new donors to King’s campaign, organizers told TheIowaRepublican.com.
King reminisced about how, when he was first elected, he came into the majority. Conversely, Bachmann arrived in 2006, the same year that Republican’s lost the majority. In his introduction of Bachmann, King said, “She [Bachmann] came in with a natural instinctive skill. With a deep convention, strong Christian faith, and an understanding of the constitution. You could just see the bright light that is Michele Backmann on the first day she arrived in Washington.”
Bachmann showed in her speech why she is rapidly becoming national figure. Her speech was full of red meat. The audience, who had just feasted on Iowa pork and beef, showed that they left a little room for what Bachmann was serving Saturday night.
Bachmann articulated a clear path for how to rollback Obamacare. She first said that a Republican majority in the House and Senate needed to be elected in November. Second, that new Republican majority has to be committed to defunding the healthcare reform package. The final part of Bachmann’s plan is to make sure that President Obama only has one-term in office.
Bachmann also flexed her muscles on economic issues and tired them directly to our national security. Bachmann said, “In the last 18 months, the federal government has taken ownership or control of one private industry after another.” She mentioned the bank bailout, the insurance industry bailout, the automobile bailout, as well as the take over of the student loan and healthcare industry. Bachmann then said, “If you add all of that up, the federal government either owns or controls 51% of the private economy.”
Bachmann also warned the crowd about the huge amount of debt the country is racking up under President Obama. She said, “If you take the debt accumulated by every president from the first day George Washington was in office through the last day of that big-spending George W. Bush, (who was a big spender, he spent $459 billion in debt his last year, which was his worse year in office), Barak Obama spent more money in debt in one year than was spent by the other 43 Presidents combined.” Bachmann then asked the crowd, “Does that give perspective to how much of a big spender this president is? And how dangerous he is to the future and the present of this economy? That should give us pause.”
Bachmann believes that President Obama’s reckless spending has America on a path of economic failure, which could also impact our national security. She told the crowd that, during World War II, America financed its own debt to fight that war. Now, other countries like China own half of our debt. “We went from being the world’s largest creditor to being the world’s largest debtor. That’s what happened when your main goal is to have a welfare state, and that is what has happened under President Obama,” Bachmann warned.
Unlike Sarah Palin, Bachmann speech was full of facts and figures instead of just clever one-liners. While Palin’s speeches excite any crowd she speaks to, Bachmann’s call to action is much more serious. The crowd in Sioux City on Saturday night was focused like a laser beam on what she had to say, and while there were some good one-liners, there were more gasps and head shaking at the substance of what was being said than anything else. The tone that Bachmann took was a serious one.
There is no doubt that Sarah Palin is a star in the Republican Party, but if Republicans are looking for a female who could be the standard bearer in future years, Michele Bachmann is more prepared for that roll. TheIowaRepublican.com asked Bachmann if she might run for president in 2012, she quickly defused the question by saying that she has a tough re-election campaign in front of her and then said that Congressman King should entertain national office.
While it is politically expedient for her to blow off the idea of a 2012 campaign, if she did run she, would be a force to be reckoned with in the First-in-the-Nation caucuses. Bachmann is as conservative as they come. She would be a natural fit with social conservatives who make up a large voting block in the caucuses. Her close relationship with Congressman King would also be a big help.
Last time, King didn’t get active in the caucus campaigns until just a few months before the caucuses. After seeing the fondness that King and Bachmann share for each other, it’s doubtful that King would stay on the sidelines like he did for most of 2007. Bachmann is also a native Iowan, another bonus if she ever makes a presidential run.
Typically, members of the House are not considered to be serious contenders for the Presidential nomination, but those rules might not apply to Bachmann, who is reaching Palin’s rock star status. The only obstacle she would have to overcome is finding the ability to raise the type of money it would take to run a nationwide campaign.
Ironically, Palin was the keynote speaker for a fundraiser for Bachmann just last week. The event raised $1.5 million for Bachmann’s campaign, but if Bachmann does ever want to run for national office, she will have to be able to raise that type of money on her own.
Still, if you are looking to place your money on a female Republican, the safe bet is on Bachmann. She’s attractive, articulate, smart, dynamic, and undoubtedly conservative. If Palin thinks that she is the only woman that Republican voters have their eyes on, she would be mistaken. Bachmann might be the one to ascend through the glass ceiling that Palin broke through.
In addition to Bachmann and King, a large number of statewide candidates were also in attendance at the event. Bob Vander Plaats and Rod Roberts worked the room. George Eichhorn and Matt Schultz, who are both running for Secretary of State were there, as was Dave Jamision, who is running for State Treasurer. Brenna Findley, the Republican nominee for Attorney General, was the only statewide candidate who was allowed to speak. Findley was formerly King’s Chief of Staff.
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