Michele Bachmann runs for President

Michele Bachmann official photo
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Michele Bachmann will seek the Republican nomination for President, thus trading in speculation for action.

When did Michele Bachmann announce?

Representative Michele Bachmann (R-MN-6) announced her campaign at tonight’s Republican Presidential debate in New Hampshire. She also sent an e-mail to her subscriber list at 8:35 p.m. EDT.

For the last several months, thousands of patriotic Americans encouraged me to run for President of the United States. After many weeks of prayer and thoughtful discussion with my family and friends, I have decided to take the next step forward in seeking the Republican nomination….

Michele Bachmann filed organizing papers with the Federal Election Commission to create the Bachmann for President exploratory committee.

ABC-TV, CBS-TV, The Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times filed the first reports after she announced. All three accounts say that she wasted no time: she said she was running in answer to the first question that the moderator put to her.

How does Michele Bachmann rate against other conservatives?

Michele Bachmann earlier official photo

Michele Bachmann poses before an American flag. Photo: United States House of Representatives

Michele Bachmann is very popular with Tea Party activists. She famously called a rally in November of 2009 against the health care reform bill. Though she gave only a week’s notice, she still drew a large crowd.

NumbersUSA, the most effective organization that stands for immigration control, gave her a B minus among 2012 Presidential hopefuls. That is the highest grade in a class of ten. (Barack Obama receives an F minus. Among Republicans, Ron Paul, Gary Johnson, and Rick Santorum all receive grades of F.) Bachmann earned her highest marks because she:

  1. Opposes amnesty for illegal immigrants,
  2. Supports the E-Verify system of instant work eligibility checks for employment,
  3. Supports a secure border,
  4. Wants the federal government to support local police and sheriffs who want to check immigration status of suspects and “persons of interest,” and
  5. Supports an end to automatic “birthright citizenship.”

Obama has heaped scorn on all five of these efforts, except perhaps for E-Verify.

Michele Bachmann is one of the few conservatives to win any elections in Minnesota. She is now serving her third term. As such she has as much experience as a Tea Party activist might wish. (The Tea Party does not care for people who have served in Congress for very many years.)

What might stand in her way?

Michele Bachmann does not—yet—have as much money as other candidates have. But she has proved that she can raise significant funds. She will need all the funds she can raise, of course.

If Sarah Palin runs for President, she and Bachmann might compete for the same voters. NumbersUSA gives Palin a D minus, so its supports might sooner support Bachmann than Palin.

What does Michele Bachmann have going for her?

She is a long-time friend of the Tea Party, and was a charter member of the Tea Party caucus beginning in 2009.

She is also a long-time friend of Israel. President Obama has made his enmity toward Israel plain to anyone with any sense of history. Michele Bachmann spent a summer on a kibbutz a year after the Yom Kippur War, and has made three trips to Israel since she entered the House. The choice for Jewish voters might be just stark enough for her to carry Florida, where Jews hold the deciding votes. (And if war breaks out in the Middle East, it could become the make-or-break issue in the campaign.)

Best of all, Michele Bachmann is a standout in a weak field. Now that she has announced, she has the chance to shine.

Featured image: official photograph of Michele Bachmann. Photo: United States House of Representatives