I’ve opined several times over the past few months that Michele Bachmann won’t wear well with the GOP electorate. That is, over time as she becomes more well-known, her popularity will wane. Recent polls are bearing this out as her once formidable lead in Iowa has disappeared. It has always been my view that sooner or later, her paper-thin resume and lack of any significant accomplishment would catch up to her. Combine this with her ill-advised decision to hire long-discredited beltway operatives such as Ed Rollins and there’s no chance she’ll even come close to winning the nomination.
But my discomfort with her went beyond these more conventional issues. It was more visceral. Though I’ve often found myself agreeing with her words, there’s something about the way she delivers them that I find disquieting, annoying even, yet I’ve never been able to quite put my finger on what it was. Although it didn’t completely solve my dilemma, a post Nicole did a couple weeks ago went some distance in clearing things up for me. In her post, Nicole included the following video:
Bachmann’s proclivity for blindly spouting obvious talking points, regardless of the question (or whether or not they’re even remotely related to said question), is certainly part of my problem with her. But trumpeting meaningless and irrelevant platitudes is nothing new for Washington politicians so that alone was insufficient to explain my uneasiness with her. A key piece to the puzzle was still missing, I thought. That is until today when I figured out what it was thanks to Steve Brown at Fox News:
Not two weeks removed from cheers surrounding her momentous victory at the Iowa GOP’s Straw Poll, there is a growing chorus of criticism about the way Rep. Michele Bachmann has been conducting her campaign in the Hawkeye State.
Can the “Barack Obama rock star crap.”
That comes from Judd Saul, who helped organize the Blackhawk County Lincoln Day Dinner. The fundraiser, which was the day after the Straw Poll, was Texas Governor Rick Perry’s first presidential campaign event in Iowa.
It was held in Waterloo, a place where she is no stranger. Bachmann proudly states she is from Waterloo and It is also where she officially launched her White House bid.
But Saul says Bachmann’s behavior at the dinner left folks “kinda pissed.”
“(Perry) sat with people, talked with people. (Bachmann) acted like a rock star, refused to eat dinner with us,” he said. “If Michele Bachmann is the hometown girl, from Waterloo, she should dine with us.”
Instead, Saul points out Bachmann spent time on her campaign bus, only entering for her turn to speak at the event after she was introduced twice.
Out in Western Iowa, the chairman of the Pottawattamie County Republican Party, Jeff Jorgenson tells Fox News, “(Bachmann) hasn’t been making herself available…as far as retail politics is concerned, she’s got a long way to go.”
So there you have it. Bachmann has an Obama-like ego that, like Obama’s, is inversely proportional to her record of accomplishment. Ask the South Carolinians who had to wait outside in 95-degree heat and commensurate humidity for her to show up a half hour late to multiple campaign events in the Palmetto state. Demonstrating respect for those who come to hear you speak by taking questions and simply showing up on time is, evidently, too much to ask from a politician with delusions of grandeur, however misplaced those delusions may be. Let’s compare Governor Palin’s interaction with voters in Iowa, shall we:
At the Iowa state fair, unlike all the other candidates who were surrounded by security people, Palin walked around on her own meeting, greeting and connecting with people.
Not exactly a comparison that inures to Bachmann’s credit, is it? For this and other reasons, look for Bachmann to continue fading as time goes on.