Bachmann’s DOA Campaign


Now that Rick Perry has stolen her thunder and rendered her a distant third place in the Republican nomination race, ex-staffers are revealing some entirely unsurprising details about Michele Bachmann’s many weaknesses.

In interviews with the Star Tribune, six former Bachmann staffers said the sudden resignations recently of campaign manager Ed Rollins and deputy David Polyansky reflected her longstanding reluctance to trust the advice of top political handlers hired from outside of her family circle and could put her campaign in danger of foundering.


It’s not in danger of foundering, it’s over. Since Perry got into the race, Bachmann’s support has evaporated. She’s now at 5 percent, with Perry at 31% and Romney at 24%. She’s tied with Gingrich and Herman Cain at this point (and I wonder if Brad Marston is still convinced that Cain is going to win the nomination — and if he’s going to pay the $2500 he bet me on it).

Her campaign has downplayed her recent campaign shakeup as a normal “restructuring” in a fast-moving race. But hanging over Bachmann’s reorganization is a history of staff turnover that includes five congressional chiefs of staff in as many years, as well as five press secretaries, four legislative directors and three communications directors.

The six former staffers who spoke to the Star Tribune praised their former boss as talented and demanding. But they also said that her reliance on her instincts and those of a tight-knit cadre of family advisers — chiefly her husband, Marcus — explains a history of turnover considered extraordinary even by Congress’ revolving-door standards.

Those who have broken with her — some of them respected GOP operatives who would speak only off the record — say she demands utter loyalty and is wary of professional advisers.

“The Achilles heel of her campaign is that when things get really tough you need some seasoned professionals,” said former Minnesota GOP Party Chairman Ron Carey, who served as Bachmann’s chief of staff until a falling out last year. “Her history is not to rely on outsiders, even if they have a lot more experience and savvy.”

This is inevitable for a true believer. Unlike Rick Perry, Bachmann isn’t faking it — she really believes that God wants her to be president and is going to lead her to the White House promised land. If you believe that you have a direct line to God, you aren’t going to listen to mere mortals like Ed Rollins. Perry is a demagogue and a political opportunist exploiting religious fundamentalism for electoral gain; Bachmann is a genuine wingnut.

“She’s tough to work for,” said north metro radio host Jack Tomczak, who was let go after working on the congressional and campaign sides of Bachmann’s political organization. “On the positive side, she can be very demanding, and not everybody’s up to the task. On the less flattering side, she can be erratic and irrational.”

The best example, Tomczak said, was Bachmann’s “House Call” Tea Party rally at the U.S. Capitol to protest President Obama’s health care overhaul in 2009. The event was Bachmann’s brainchild and drew thousands, despite the skepticism of congressional Republican leaders and some of her own staff. Afterward, Tomczak said, Bachmann wanted a follow-up event where protesters would surround the Capitol banging pots and pans. That idea was nixed.

“Both of those events sounded crazy,” Tomczak said. “One of them was pulled off spectacularly, and the other one was crazy.”

I think that’s a bit overly optimistic. The problem isn’t that Bachmann can be irrational; the problem is that Bachmann is irrational.

Comments

  1. Aquaria says

    she demands utter loyalty and is wary of professional advisers.

    So she’s just as stupid about accepting reality with politics as she is with everything else in the world?

    What.

    A.

    Fucking.

    Surprise.

    I think at this point it’s safe to say that Googly Eyes wants to be your typical banana republic tinpot dictator. She might see herself as Eva Peron. Without the charisma. Or the fashion sense.

  2. abb3w says

    What a pity. If her campaign wasn’t collapsing so blatantly, there might be a better chance of her making an independent Tea Party candidate run at the presidency.

    While apparently God wants Ed to laugh, it looks like He won’t push the joke to see how far it will go.

  3. dogmeat says

    The longer the wingnuts are in the race the more irrational the Republican candidate in 2012 will have to be to win the nomination.

  4. Larry says

    Crazy Eyes, I don’t know what we will do without you. You provided some really fine entertainment during your quirky campaign. Fortunately, the GOP clown car is still stuffed full of bat-shit insane candidates so the good times should continue to roll for awhile.

  5. Ben P says

    The best example, Tomczak said, was Bachmann’s “House Call” Tea Party rally at the U.S. Capitol to protest President Obama’s health care overhaul in 2009. The event was Bachmann’s brainchild and drew thousands, despite the skepticism of congressional Republican leaders and some of her own staff. Afterward, Tomczak said, Bachmann wanted a follow-up event where protesters would surround the Capitol banging pots and pans. That idea was nixed.

    “Both of those events sounded crazy,” Tomczak said. “One of them was pulled off spectacularly, and the other one was crazy.”

    That’s interesting completely apart from Bachmann. Thinking about it there’s a very fine line between being bold and being crazy. Every revolutionary leader in the history of the world has probably been told “that’s insane, it’ll never work” and done it anyway. Most of them go down in flames, some succeed, some succeed and instantly get shoved out because true believers are not always political operators.

  6. raven says

    This is inevitable for a true believer. Unlike Rick Perry, Bachmann isn’t faking it — she really believes that God wants her to be president and is going to lead her to the White House promised land.

    Explain to me again the difference between religious fanaticism and mental illness?

    On second thought, don’t bother. There might be one but it isn’t much.

  7. raven says

    Looks like god has decided Michele isn’t going to be president. That’s what the poll numbers say.

    It’s almost too bad. She would be an immensely entertaining president while the USA goes down in flames. Destroyed by a silly, god soaked clown acting for the Theothuglicans.

    It might anyway but we are being nibbled to death by old, white, male christofascist ducks. It’s boring and no fun at all.

    It says something about her district in Minnesota that they keep reelecting a cognitively impaired clown whose main virtue is that she is fun to laugh at.

  8. raven says

    It really looks like the Theothuglicans are going to nominate Perry.

    Romney is Mormon and the Tea Party fundies traditionally hate Mormons, who they regard as heretical Fake Xians. They used to kill each other and the fundies even killed the founder, Joseph Smith.

    Besides, Romney can be a pragmatic moderate when he has to. He was governor of Massachusets after all and that state is still alive and kicking. With the Tea Party that has to be a huge minus.

  9. LightningRose says

    “Perry is a demagogue and a political opportunist exploiting religious fundamentalism for electoral gain; Bachmann is a genuine wingnut.”

    As Kurt Vonnegut taught us in “Mother Night”, we are what we pretend to be.

  10. says

    :Besides, Romney can be a pragmatic moderate when he has to. He was governor of Massachusets after all and that state is still alive and kicking. With the Tea Party that has to be a huge minus.”

    Having lived in Taxachusetts when Romney was governor I would say he was a pretty unpopular governor and if he had opted to run for re-election he would have lost.

    The man has no discernible principles, only the morals and politics of convenience.

  11. MikeMa says

    The man has no discernible principles, only the morals and politics of convenience.

    A textbook definition for a politician then. Sad really.

  12. D. C. Sessions says

    Bachmann’s campaign was doomed the moment Perry entered the game, for the simple reason that he has an essential qualification that their core constituency demands but she lacks: a penis.

    As long as she was the only one with established wingnut cred they accepted her, but once a “Christian” [1] with a cock pushed his way in, it was all over for her.

    [1] Romney and Huntsman don’t count, and besides they’re obviously faking insanity.

  13. Midnight Rambler says

    It really looks like the Theothuglicans are going to nominate Perry.

    I don’t think it’s a done deal yet. Check out clips from the debate last night; Romney was sharper and sounded way less fake than usual, while Perry sounded like he’d been shot up to the eyeballs with Valium. Romney will still have a hard time with the teabaggers in the South, but Perry gives the impression of not being ready for prime time. And unfortunately, a lot of people have short memories that don’t go back to the last presidential election, especially Republican primary voters.

  14. D. C. Sessions says

    MikeMa, seriously — how many people do you know who name body parts? How many of them would you actually want anywhere in the same zip codes with nuclear launch codes?

  15. MikeMa says

    Palin has already threatened several countries with nuclear annihilation IIRC and I suspect Bachmann might share her enthusiasm for mutually assured destruction.

    Perry, Gingrich and Cain would be running over to treasury every few days to pick up a few pounds of fifties. Huntsman is the only, almost sane player at this point and he won’t stand up and shout ‘you assholes’ as much as he might want to. Paul is a nasty old bastard. Romney will twist in the wind and only if he can gain the nomination, may recover some sanity.

  16. raven says

    Palin has already threatened several countries with nuclear annihilation IIRC…

    IIRC, she has threatened to nuke California, Oregon, and New England.

    They aren’t really “countries” but you have to remember, she didn’t even know “Africa” was a continent with dozens of countries.

  17. James B says

    I understand the lose of her staffers. But that doesn’t explain her sinking in the polls so quickly. I agree with D.C. Sessions her lack of a penis is a better explanations. Wingnut land has a very nice stain glass ceiling that women can stare at to receive their next message from the man above it.

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