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June 28th, 2011

Palin and Bachmann: A Very Good Problem for Republicans

By Bob Haus

My good friend Craig Robinson has an excellent article analyzing the potential candidacy of former Governor Sarah Palin on his site, The Iowa Republican. For those of you who follow Republican politics closely, it’s a must read site every morning. Even my Democrat friends grudgingly admit they are regular visitors to his site.

I won’t restate all the premises about Gov. Palin that Craig sets forth, but I will say this: If she wants to run, she’ll run. I’ve said to members of the media from all over the country that Gov. Palin revels in confounding her critics. She has broken through every glass ceiling put on top of her, and the only thing that will stop her from running for President, in my opinion, will be a very personal decision about the welfare of her family.

Yesterday also saw the intense media frenzy that surrounded the presidential campaign announcement by Congresswoman Michele Bachmann from Minnesota. Set in her former hometown of Waterloo, Iowa, her announcement was a very successful step onto the Big Stage of presidential politics. Coming off a sound debate performance and stunning Iowa Poll numbers, the Bachmann campaign has gone from zero to 60 in about 5.0 seconds. Time will tell if she can live up to her now healthy expectations, but there isn’t a campaign in Iowa that wouldn’t trade places with her today.

Many Washington pundits rub their chins and think there’s no way these two candidates can coexist in a Republican primary. There are too many philosophical similarities, they will be appealing to the same part of the electorate, gosh they even look alike…all reasons why one or the other won’t make it in the Grand DC Scheme of Things.

Watching these two women at their various events, I came to a completely different conclusion. The health and strength of the Republican Party has never been better.

Republicans have, potentially, two very strong female candidates. Both have a unique capacity to appeal to middle class voters, and especially middle class women. Both share a unique capacity to drive liberal media outlets into some sort of blind, rabid, spittle frothing rage. Both share amazing personal stories about their childhoods, raising their families, and the struggles they’ve overcome to achieve their present status.

I can’t remember when the Democrats had this sort of “problem.” Two highly articulate, passionate messengers for a distinctly different brand of government…not a bad problem to have in my opinion.

I am the son of a very strong mother from New Hampton, Iowa. My mother worked “in town” and she also helped my Dad and me on the farm. My sister is highly educated, a great mother and wife and she’s been a role model for me. My wife is the strongest person I know, a great mother, a highly acclaimed professional, and shares an advanced degree from William and Mary with Congresswoman Bachmann. She works every day to teach our children, and especially our daughters, that there are no glass ceilings in this world that can’t be broken.

I haven’t decided whom I will support in the 2012 Iowa Caucuses. But you can be sure that as I watch this campaign unfold, I will be rooting on these two strong women. Come what may, they are blazing trails for my daughters.

And to my media pundit friends in Washington, DC, I would remind them of one often overlooked fact. Iowa helped launch the first African American President in our nation’s history. It’s not outside the realm of the possible that we’ll launch the first female President, either.

Enhanced by ZemantaThis article originally appeared in the Cedar Rapids Gazette

About the Author

Bob Haus
Robert Haus is a Des Moines based advertising and communications consultant. Born and raised in Iowa, Bob is a proud graduate of both Iowa State University and the University of Iowa College of Law, which makes him a confirmed CyHawk fan. A former farm boy, and recovered lawyer, Bob has spent the last 20 years working at all levels of state and federal politics. He has worked for and advised Republican candidates for President, US Senate, US House, statewide office, and the Iowa Legislature. You can follow him at Bob's personal blog is

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