It seemed only fitting that Michele Bachmann held her “Welcome Home” event in a historic dancehall named Electric Park. Bachmann, who officially announced her candidacy for president this morning in Waterloo, was electric last night when speaking to residents of her hometown.
Over 500 people filled the ballroom where Bachmann’s parents used to dance. The facility is located on the grounds of Waterloo’s National Cattle Congress, a place which Bachmann looked forward to visiting every summer as a child.
She kept her remarks focused on her time in Waterloo. As she would mention the hospital she was born in, one of the two churches her family belonged to, or the elementary school she attended, many of those in attendance could be seen nodding their heads, signifying that they shared a similar background with the now presidential candidate.
There is no sign announcing that Waterloo is the birthplace of Michele Bachmann, but after last night, there might be an effort to erect one. If any one doubted her Iowa roots, she made it abundantly clear that Iowa is her home. Even though last night’s event was the first time she has visited her hometown since she began flirting with a presidential run, Bachmann drew a big crowd and connected with most of those present.
The only mention of Obamacare last night came from Jason Lewis, a conservative radio show host from Minnesota, who also has Waterloo roots. Bachmann brought up President Obama a couple of times. She said that President Bachmann would retire the presidential teleprompters, and then later asked for people’s support so that President Obama will be a one term president. The crowd ate it up.
Even though her speech last night wasn’t political in nature, Bachmann did display the one critical skill that every candidate needs. As she was wrapping up her remarks she pleaded with those in attendance to support her at the Ames Straw Poll a little over a month from now. Having a candidate who can persuade people to volunteer or get active is not as common as you might think. Bachmann proved that she can make the close, and the crowd responded with a roar.
What’s yet to be seen is whether her staff can capitalize on her star power and talents as a candidate. The crowd of 500 was impressive, and while most signed in, the key at any political event is to get people to sign up. Bachmann gave a great pitch last night, but there were no supporter cards being put in the hands of those in attendance. Like every campaign, it will take a little time to work out the kinks.
The past few weeks couldn’t have gone better for Bachmann. Ever since her announcement that she was going to participate in the CNN New Hampshire debate, everything she has done has turned up roses. Timing is everything in politics, and Bachmann has been impeccable in that regard.
Photo by Dave Davidson
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