Saturday, November 19, 2011

Advice to Bachmann

I am about to give Michele Bachmann, real, honest, intelligent advice.  This is not a trick, it is in my honest opinion, the simplest way for her to win the GOP nomination.

Michele Bachmann is actually a fairly intelligent woman.  You have to be to make it as far as she did in the GOP primary.  More importantly to the GOP, she is a far right republican, which is what they think they want/need  in the presidency.  I disagree, moderates (like Ronald Reagan) have better chances, but that is what they think. 

But as the GOP has repeatedly looked for a far right candidate more attractive than Romney (whose main faults appear to be a) wrong religion and b) some moderate tendencies that he flip=flopped on) , they have consistently overlooked her.  They tried the Millionaire con man - that was using them as a publicity stunt, the Texan - who could not speak, the "our black guy" - who had never won real elected office and could not deal with the scrutiny, and know they are trying the "old pro-family values guy" - who has cheated on multiple wives. 

They have never tried her.  The reason is simple.  It is not her ridiculous claim that the media are out to get her.  It is her gullibility.  Well, technically it is her reputation of being gullible.  It doesn't matter if she gullible or not, people vote on what they believe, not on the truth.  Right now her reputation is for gullibility. 

Simply, the public knows her mainly for making obviously false statements.   Usually partisan attacks. Things like (My comments on her comments in parenthesis):

  1. Claiming that the swine flu only came when we had democrat presidents.  (Not only is this a weird claim, but she was wrong.  It broke out previously under republican presidents and not under Carter despite what she said.)
  2. Gay marriage is the biggest state and national issue. (As in bigger than then the economy, bigger than the debt, bigger than the war on terror, etc.)
  3. Claimed, based on an anonymous source in India, that Obama spent $200 million a day on his trip to India (he - and his entire entourage, including a few navyships - spent more like $10 million a day - It's like if you spent $10,000 on a vacation and she claimed you spent $200,000)
  4. That vaccinations cause mental retardation.  

So, lets assume she wants to actually win the republican nomination.   She has to portray herself as someone that can be TRUSTED, as opposed to someone that will say any foolish thing she heard, particularly if it is damaging to her opponent.  And that's a problem given the GOP's current strategy of using bad science.   She can't come out in favor of global warming, nor can she support evolution, either one of which giver her some credentials as a serious, trustworthy person among the moderates.

But she can attack her competitors other statements.  She has done a little of this on the debates.   Her comments on foreign aid to Pakistan were a good start.  But she has to up her game.   The best way to do it is to defend the President of the United States.  She doesn't have to do it too much.  Twice should be enough, with maybe a few more of the Pakistan type correction for other issues in between.

 You see, the GOP is going to lie about Obama.  They have done it before (Gun control - Obama did nothing, birth certificate - was valid - both the short and the long form, etc. etc.) and they are going to do it again.   So when Gingrich or Romney trot out something that Bachmann knows is false, she can defend him.  She can say something simple like "I despise Obama as much as the next guy, but it just isn't true that he eats raw kittens alive."

I guarantee that if the Gullible Gal gets up and defends Obama, it will play on TV.   The networks, even MSNBC will give her favorable coverage.   If she does it just right - reluctantly defending a man she hates - she will come out looking like the Last Honest Woman in politics.

Then wait a while, perhaps correcting some more non-Obama error.  Just like her Pakistan correction, only more so.  Which will happen - as Perry demonstrated it is only human to make mistakes. It is how you deal with them that matters.   If she starts correcting her opponents, it will establish a new reputation, as opposed to a one-off comment.

Lastly defend Obama one more time.   This cements her reputation as honorable and presidential instead of gullible.  More importantly it frees her up to attack Obama from a solid reputation.   When she claims he is going to raise taxes on everyone, people will believe her because she defended Obama against other nonsense.

Oh, and one more thing - she has to STOP making unsupported statements.  She should only speak about things that are accepted by the main stream or she has a LOT of evidence to back her up.  No more anonymous sources, no more "a random, non-doctor constituent gave me medical advice".

But she won't do any of this, for three reasons:
  1. She has an ego.  A big one.   This prevents her from admitting she was wrong, or even that she has the reputation of being gullible.  She has repeatedly refused to apologize for things she has said.
  2. She does not appear to know the difference between a supported statement and an unsupported one.   When you are running for president you need to know the difference between something you can believe and something you can state on national TV.   For local elections, people will overlook some rather silly stuff.  Here they research your remarks and discuss them on national TV.
  3. She is so partisan, I don't think she could bring herself to defend a democrat.  She would let an innocent Democrat be convicted of a crime even if she could easily alibi him out.
But that's my best advice to Michelle Bachmann.   Three press incidents - two Obama defenses sandwiching another non-Obama correction.   If she does this right, she can take Romney's place.   Without these actions, she is doomed.

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