The First Oklahoman President?
8:00 AM EDT on June 29, 2011
This week, Mary Fallin's BFF Michele Bachmann kicked off her attempt to become President of the United States in Waterloo, IA, a place known for successful campaigns.
The Representative from Minnesota normally would be off limits as subject matter for this blog, except it turns out she has ties to this state. In 1979, Oral Roberts University, in Tulsa, began an experiment of having a law program. Among the members of the inaugural class was a Michele Bachmann. Seven years later, ORU decided that it needed to refocus its energy toward evangelical education (also, the founder of the school was in danger of God calling him home around this time) and closed the law school. The final class of graduates included Michele Bachmann.
What is more Oklahoma than that? She went to a school founded by a televangelist, and took seven years to complete a two year degree program. It's amazing she returned to Minnesota instead of dominating this state's political landscape. Of course, had she stayed, she probably would have fallen into the background while competing with Jim Inhofe and Tom Coburn for wacky sound bites. As a Minnesotan, she was invited onto Hardball with Chris Matthews (no relation) where she made her splash on the national scene with this exchange:
Matthews: How many people in the Congress of the United States do you think are anti-American? You've already suspected Barack Obama, is he alone or are there others?
Bachmann: What I would say is that the news media should do a penetrating expose and take a look...I wish they would...I wish the American media would take a great look at the views of the people in Congress and find out are they pro-America, or anti-America. I think people would love to see an expose like that.
To her credit, she did stop short of calling for McCarthy Trials of her colleagues--instead outsourcing it to the media--but this was only one of the many things that will make her a fascinating candidate.
For instance, she looooooves Bush. George W., you sickos. Sure, lots of Republicans love that guy for unexplainable reasons. Unlike Bachmann, though, I doubt many of them would seize an opportunity to seduce him during the State of the Union address (pictured above).
Then, as founding mother of the Tea Party Caucus, Michele was tapped to give the post-State of the Union address rebuttal for that wing of the Republican Party. Perhaps overwhelmed at how her life had come full circle, or disappointed by having to turn down an opportunity to make out with Barack Obama, she had some technical difficulties:
That's right, for the six-plus minutes she recited Tea Party talking points, she failed to look directly at the camera once. It was like she believed that light on the active camera was there to bother her eyes so she would look at the other one.
During the census, Bachmann led a charge to boycott answering any demographic questions on the questionaire "because the Constitution doesn't require any information beyond that." Of course, if that were true, how would the early census bureau have known who to count as only 3/5ths of a person?
Even early on, Bachmann has been a characterization of herself. She grew up a Democrat, but claims to have had the epiphany that she was a Republican when she read a book by Gore Vidal--written from the perspective of Aaron Burr, a man who eventually murdered the first Secretary of the Treasury--that she deemed anti-founding father. Of course, she now believes that John Quincy Adams (who was a week shy of his tenth birthday the day the Declaration of Independence was signed) was a member of that category, and that these were a group of men who worked tirelessly to end slavery.
Will Bachmann become the first female President and the first President with Oklahoma ties? Probably not. She is well liked by a fringe group of the Republican Party, but has little hope of endearing herself to the general population. So, if she does manage to make it to the general election, it will likely assure Barack Obama a second term.
In the meantime, though, she is bound to make the Republican primaries interesting. Already, she has inadvertently compared her spirit with that of fellow Waterloo clown John Wayne Gacy, a serial killer, thinking it was Cowboy actor John Wayne who shared her home town. Odds are she will be a roller coaster ride of misspeakings, wild allegations, and contradictions (like being an anti-tax politician who began her legal career defending the IRS). It should be fun.
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