With Perry in, Bachmann is SO over; she just doesn’t know it yet (or does she?)

Back on a previous thread, Bud said “Perry and Bachmann are duking it out for the evangelical, tea party vote…

Bachmann? Hunh. It is SO over for Bachmann. Check this out at Politico: “Perry Outshines Bachmann in Her Hometown.” (His first good move there? Not invoking John Wayne Gacy.) An excerpt:

But the contrast that may lift Perry, and undermine Bachmann, in their high-stakes battle for Iowa had less to do with what they said than how they said it — and what they did before and after speaking.

Perry arrived early, as did former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum. The Texas governor let a media throng grow and dissolve before working his way across the room to sit at table after table, shake hand after hand, pose for photographs and listen politely to a windy Abraham Lincoln impersonator, paying respect to a state that expects candidates, no matter their fame, to be accessible.

But Bachmann campaigned like a celebrity. And the event highlighted the brittle, presidential-style cocoon that has become her campaign’s signature: a routine of late entries, unexplained absences, quick exits, sharp-elbowed handlers with matching lapel pins, and pre-selected questioners.

She camped out in her bus, parked on the street in front of a nearby Ramada Hotel, until it was time to take the stage. Even after a local official’s introduction, Bachmann was nowhere to be found. It was not until a second staffer assured her that the lighting had been changed and a second introduction piped over the loudspeakers that she entered the former dance hall here. By the time she made her big entrance to bright lights and blaring music, the crowd seemed puzzled….

What the writer is trying to describe there is something I’ve seen over and over in campaigns over the years. Sometimes a certain rhythm, a certain tone, a certain something that is hard to put in words develops that tells you one candidate is a winner while the other is descending into loserdom, even if she was the flavor of the week the week before.

Perry is the genuine phenom. He’s got the patter. He could be a carnival barker or a televangelist. He’s the Christian Right candidate from central casting, and the only actual governor running with Mark Sanford-type credentials on the Tea Party uber-libertarian shtick. Take a look at this picture. I ask you. He’s everything Andy Griffith was in “A Face in the Crowd,” only without the folksiness and the self-destructive tendencies.

By comparison, Bachmann is a walking wreck waiting to happen. She’s got jack to show in the area of accomplishments, and she’s got that crazy look in the eyes. The one Newsweek committed the unpardonable sin of capturing accurately. And now, people are starting to notice the way she let the celebrity she attained before Perry got in go to her head.

Up against the real thing — or someone who at least could play the real thing on TV (just as Dennis Haysbert was perfect as the Obama prototype, the First Technically Black President, on “24”) — Bachmann will melt like a typical freakish dusting of snow in Columbia.

I say that with the usual caveat — “as long as current patterns continue.” Things can change just as rapidly as they just did for Ms. Bachmann. But until something comes along that takes Perry out, there seems to be little Ms. Bachmann can do to improve her own fortunes.

38 thoughts on “With Perry in, Bachmann is SO over; she just doesn’t know it yet (or does she?)

  1. bud

    Repeat: Two Words – Fred Thompson. I don’t entirely buy all this form over substance spin. Perry has that Texas swagger that I think is going to turn people off big time in moderate states like New Hampshire. He’ll do fine in IA and SC. Bachmann could be hurt by this aloofness Brad describes. That’s why these two folks are not the favorites, at least in the ‘bud’ handicapping.

    Brad’s been doing this a long time so I don’t discount his observations out of hand. After all he was right about John Edwards. Still, I think Rick Perry has some baggage of his own that could come back to haunt him. If not in the primaries then certainly in the general.

  2. Brad

    Bud, the problem with the Thompson analogy is that Fred didn’t want it. He had all these fans who begged him to run, so he went, “Oh, all right,” and then ran this noticeably low-energy campaign.

    Perry has decided he wants it, and that’s that. He starts hitting all the buttons forcefully and immediately. After announcing in a way calculated to steal the limelight from those who have been running already, he basically says, “In case you DID actually care who won that stupid thing in Ames on Saturday, fine. Watch me crush her in her hometown the very next day.”

    As for that Texas swagger. I was struck over and over by how Perry sounds like he’s doing a W. impression. I kept hoping the word “nuclear” would show up in the text of his speech (which he read almost line for line, which means that if he gets the nod maybe the right will shut up about Obama and his Teleprompter), so I could see how far he’d go with it. (Yeah, that could just be the way people from that part of the world talk, but he seemed to be impersonating the timbre of his voice as well.)

    While in Bud’s book, that is a huge turnoff — and there’s no doubt at all that the Dems will hammer at that over and over if he gets the nod, because in their minds there’s no way anyone would vote for someone who would sound like Bush — it’s not necessarily a drawback among those who will decide whether he gets the nomination.

    If he is the one, we’ll see a contest in November that will be the sharpest contrast in many a cycle between the two parties’ archetypes and aspirations, one distilled essence up against another.

    Perry’s got what Repubs crave, which is one reason why he puts Bud off.

  3. bud

    I’ve been catching a lot of flak for suggesting I might sit out the 2012 election if we’re still in Iraq come December 31. Then I see this headline:

    “BAGHDAD (AP) — Bomb blasts ripped through more than a dozen Iraqi cities Monday morning, killing 56 people — most of them in the southern city of Kut — in a wave of violence that shattered what had been a relatively peaceful holy month of Ramadan.”

    Folks this is really simple. I am adamently oppossed to our involvement there and in good conscience I just couldn’t vote for Obama if he continues with the madness. I like Obama and I’ll give him some slack on the economic stuff but this is a deal breaker for me. Of course since I live in SC it doesn’t matter anyway. Perhaps if I lived in FL or OH I’d think differently. After a Rick Perry presidency would be tantamount to a third GW Bush term. But since I do live in SC I can sleep easy knowing my vote is irrelevant anyway. Thank you very much electoral college.

  4. Brad

    Yeah, Obama needs to end the madness. He needs to stop setting off those bombs…

    Oh, wait… He’s not the one setting them off, is he? He’s actually the commander in chief of the troops whose presence helps to prevent such occurrences from being everyday…

  5. Doug Ross


    Repeat after me: “It’s not our problem”

    We have enough issues going on in the U.S. right now that would be better places to allocate our finite resources.

    Trying to fix the world is part of what got us into our current economic mess.

  6. Doug Ross


    I applaud your decision to make a principled stand regarding your vote. Your vote should not be for the least worst candidate but for the one who represents your most strongly held views.

  7. Brad

    Can’t repeat that, Doug, because it wouldn’t be true. It’s not even debatable, now. Before we invaded in 2003 that was at least debatable. Now it isn’t. I refer you to the “Pottery Barn Principle.” Take it up with Colin Powell.

  8. Doug Ross

    Anything done by men can be undone by men.

    We went in, we screwed up, we claimed victory, we spent trillions, and we will either be there forever fighting a “war” for people who mostly don’t want us there against people who will continue to hate us no matter what.

    I’d believe our objectives were pure if we put the same effort into helping people around the world rather than just those who are strategically important. Imagine what our military could do to wipe out the Mexican drug cartels. Now THAT would have an immediate impact on the United States.

  9. bud

    I’ll bet Brad a beer @ Yesterdays that Romney is in the race longer than Perry. I would bet a Starbucks but my daughter just started a new job at the competition a block away at a place called Rocky Roast. It’s run by an un-reformed Hippy who picked today (August 15) to open because that’s the anniversary of Woodstock.

  10. Gillon

    I’m sure that Mrs. Bachman over time will indeed “improve her fortunes.”. Maybe not politically, but surely financially. She need only follow the Sarah Palin playbook.

  11. Rose

    It was broken before we got there. We broke it more.
    We CAN’T “fix” it.
    We can’t force democracy and stability onto another country.
    I want out.
    Someone very dear to me is facing his FIFTH deployment over there with the National Guard. He’s been gone for more than half his son’s life.
    We couldn’t “fix” Vietnam. We can’t “fix” Iraq. It’s the last vestiges of colonialism. And it’s arrogant, and completely ignorant of another nation’s history and culture.

  12. Doug Ross

    Andrew Sullivan has the proper take on where we are with Iraq today:

    “If we had spent a fraction of time we spent debating non-existent WMDs worrying about credit default swaps, we’d be in much better shape today. More than 5,000 Americans died in this war; up to a hundred thousand Iraqis died in one of the most incompetent occupations in history. The cost of this war is at the very least $1 trillion. It is almost over. And yet we are too busy focusing on domestic partisan politics to assess the greatest foreign policy error since Vietnam.

    The neocons are unrepentant. But examine two facts on the ground. The first is that the violence from al Qaeda type cells is still endemic.

    The violence touched nearly every region of the country, except for Kurdistan, and appeared to be aimed at security forces in both Sunni and Shiite areas.

    In all, there were 37 attacks, more than double the daily average this year, nearing the level of violence at the height of the sectarian conflict here in 2006 and 2007. The attacks included 11 car bombs, 19 improvised explosive devices and 2 suicide bombers.

    Over 300 were wounded and close to 70 people died. Remember that al Qaeda did not exist in Iraq before we invaded it. Meanwhile, we have new evidence of how regime change in Iraq has affected the region as a whole. It has empowered Iran and is now helping Assad. The Shia bonds have created a new Shiite crescent from Tehran to Damascus”

    Bad idea, bad strategy, bad execution, bad results.

  13. bud

    “Baghdad (CNN) — A barrage of deadly attacks struck across Iraq Monday, killing at least 75 people and wounding more than 250 others, Iraqi officials said.

    Twenty bombings and shooting incidents were reported. Some struck police and security forces, though a great many targeted civilians.”

    At what point do we regard the invasion of Iraq a failure? Does every single person in Iraq have to die before we acknowledge once and for all our involvement there just did not work? When do we say we tried our best but just couldn’t bring peace to this desparate nation? It is inexplicable how the pro-war folks defend what is undeniably a complete failure to accomplish anything positive in that nation. With continued violence, disappointing oil production and a social order of immense misery it is without any merit, on any level that our invasion was justified. It cannot be defended, if it ever could, by any reasonable criteria.

    All this nonsense about draining swamps and bringing a new social order of democracy and prosperity to the region is balderdash of the highest order. The defenders of this charade are nothing but a bunch of clowns running around with foolish grins on their faces pretending to actually say something of relevance. All of this could be dismissed as some sort of comic relief to the ongoing spectacle of DC politics if it wasn’t for the horrendous tragedy that we’ve infliced on these people and to our own soldiers and treasury. It’s a large source of the massive debt that we wrestle with. And it seems impossible to bring it to and end. Hopefully Obama will finally wake up and honor his pledge to end this thing. Only then can the people of Iraq begin to rebuild their nation. And only they can do it.

  14. `Kathryn Fenner

    Dunno–Perry started out as a Democrat and approved the mandatory HPV vaccine for teenage girls, plus other potential mis-steps in the eyes of the Tea Party and/or Evangelical Right…he’s way out there, but not quite as monomaniacal as the ever-more-radical Right wants….

  15. Brad

    Kathryn and Bryan, thanks for returning to the topic.

    Bryan, you’re right.

    Kathryn, Perry is the real thing. Compare the “sin” of doing something about HPV vaccine to the horrific thing that Romney tried to do — actually solve his state’s health care problems. Using GOVERNMENT!

    No, Perry is like the Captain America of the right. They created him in a lab to be the perfect candidate. Used to be a Democrat? Big deal. Every Republican in the South old enough to be considered seriously for president used to be a Democrat.

    Another way to put it — the kind of Republican that is fashionable today is the kind that used to be a Democrat in the South. W. managed to do an impersonation of that kind of Republican by picking up that accent in his youth, thereby separating himself from the kind of Republican his father was. But W.’s kind of Republican is no longer fashionable. The kind of guy who will pass a No Child Left Behind (working with Teddy Kennedy) or a Medicare prescription drug entitlement (also working with Teddy Kennedy) isn’t going to win the nomination today.

    W’s narrative of being a recovered drinker played well with evangelicals. So will Perry’s being a recovered Democrat. He’s seen the light, you see. They will kill the fatted calf for him.

  16. bud

    Why Romney will be the GOP nominee:

    1. Money. He has boatloads of it.
    2. It’s his turn. Every GOP nominee since Ike has been the man who has earned his dues in prior campaigns.
    3. Michelle Bachmann. She’ll split the evangelical vote leaving Romney alone with the somewhat moderate Republicans (It’s all relevative. None really are even close to moderate)
    4. The Swagger. This time around I think it will be a net liability. Folks remember the Bush meltdown and even many Republicans are fed up with that style.

  17. Norm Ivey

    My sister from Texas is visiting with us. I asked her about Perry. She’s looking forward to the dismantling of Perry by Obama–evidently he has much to answer for actions in Texas that will doom his chances in a general election. (She cited the Texas textbook controversy as one example.) She’s of the opinion that the intelligence gap is insurmountable for Perry.

    It will be entertaining to watch two consummate politicians go head-to-head.

    A Samuel Adams Boston Lager says Gingrich is the next one to quit.

  18. Mark Stewart

    Hey, Bud, I’m a moderate Republican! There are far more than you think – even in South Carolina. Look how close Sheheen came last year; it wasn’t because the Decocratic base was energized that year, the turn-out was significantly leaning to the right. Without moderate Republicans crossing over he would have been toastier.

    And I vote every election for the candidate that I believe is the best one to lead us all forward.

  19. Brad

    Norm, have you seen the line going around about Perry being “Bush without a brain?

    And Mark, you were one of a large group. Sheheen almost won the election, and he couldn’t have done that without a LOT of Republican votes.

  20. Doug Ross

    Mandatory HPV vaccinations should never be allowed. It is not mumps or measles or polio. It is 100% preventable, right, as most STD’s are? Or do we just assume all females are sexually active with multiple partners?

    The facts:

    “At a given time, the overall prevalence of high-risk (cancer causing) HPV types was 15% of female participants; the prevalence of the types covered by the vaccine were 1.5% (HPV-16) and 0.8% (HPV-18). ”

    Look at those numbers. Mandatory drugs (with potential side effects) to prevent an STD for 15% of the females?

    The vaccine was a giveback to Merck. I would suspect a ton of money was passed under the table to politicians to try and make it mandatory… at $120 a pop if I remember. Could buy a whole lot of condoms for $120.

  21. Steven Davis

    I wonder if Norm’s sister is a Democrat. I know people in Texas and they don’t have anything bad to say about him… but they’re Republicans.

    Why are we still talking about Sheheen?

  22. Brad

    Steven, that’s a very naive view. Perry plays hardball, so I’m sure you can find Republicans whose toes he’s stepped on.

    I doubt Kay Bailey Hutchison’s supporters are huge fans… Of course, maybe they are. But nowadays, more and more Republicans tend to forget Reagan’s 11th Commandment.

  23. bud

    Mark, I applaud you for being a moderate Republican. I long for the day when I could at least respect the “enemy” party. And in some cases I would even consider voting for one. But not so much any more. When all the candidates raised their hand at the Iowa debate when asked if they would oppose a 1-10 taxes/spending cuts to help reduce the deficit that pretty much showed how far to the right the GOP has gone.

  24. Steven Davis

    So Norm’s sister doesn’t like him and I know Texan Republicans who do… and I have a naive view. What next, blasting me because I know Republicans who don’t like Obama?

  25. Mark Stewart


    Wow. Just wow; I am stunned. You diss the HPV vaccine at the peril of many, women.

    This is not about behavior; but of health – and at very little cost to anyone. This is protecting the young; a lifetime of benefit. The women who develop cancer are mothers.

    You do realize that men are the carriers and women are the one’s to pay the physical price? Men can be responsible for their wife’s illness. It’s like that.

  26. Karen McLeod

    @Doug–Most women marry men. How many of those men are virginal, do you think? Woman are supposed to be exposed to cancer because the virus can be considered an STD? Maybe when men get more trustworthy in that department!

  27. Doug Ross

    @Karen and Mark

    All I said is that it shouldn’t be mandatory especially considering the relative occurence rates and the alternatives.

    It is 100% preventable without the vaccine unlike the diseases controlled by other mandatory innoculations.

    This was a revenue generator for Merck.

  28. Doug Ross

    Every drug has side effects. From the CDC website:

    Reports to VAERS Following Gardasil®
    As of June 22, 2011, approximately 35 million doses of Gardasil® were distributed in the U.S. and VAERS received a total of 18,727 reports of adverse events following Gardasil® vaccination: 17,958 reports among females and 346 reports for males, of which 285 reports were received after the vaccine was licensed for males in October 2009. VAERS received 423 reports of unknown gender. Of the total number of VAERS reports following Gardasil®, 92% were considered to be non-serious, and 8% were considered serious.

    8% of 19,000 = about 1600 people who were much worse off for taking the shot.

  29. Karen McLeod

    @Doug? 100% preventable? You’ve figured out a way to ensure that all men/boys are behave in a sexually responsible manner? Or are you telling all women/girls who want to avoid cervical cancer,”Get thee to a nunnery!”?

  30. Doug Ross


    You miss my point. It is simply about whether it should be mandatory. It should not based on the risks, the occurence rate, and the other options available to prevent it. It should be a choice… I know that goes against your core values of using the government as the blunt instrument to enforce the will of some people but it’s what I believe.

    Mandatory is a very strong word.

  31. Doug Ross

    Read this again:

    ““At a given time, the overall prevalence of high-risk (cancer causing) HPV types was 15% of female participants; the prevalence of the types covered by the vaccine were 1.5% (HPV-16) and 0.8% (HPV-18). ”

    Are those number too difficult to understand? We’re not talking about a high risk to most women. Get the shot if you want to… especially if you expect yourself or your daughter to be sexually active with multiple partners.

  32. Doug Ross

    And look at the cost:

    “Gardasil, the HPV vaccine, is currently on the market for $120 per single dose. Three doses are required over a 6-month period, making the total cost for the HPV vaccine $360. On top of that, some doctors are charging office visit fees when the vaccine is given. ”

    Merck has delivered 35 million doses at $120 a pop. That’s $4.2 BILLION dollars. If you don’t think they “invested” a significant amount of lobbying dollars to push for making it mandatory, you’re living in dreamland.

  33. Karen McLeod

    Of course I think big Pharma is making a killing off of this, and certainly lobbied to do so. I have no objection to most people paying for their own. But women who can’t afford it should have it available to them. A woman can come to her bridal bed virgin pure and still be infected as the result of anyone he has slept with, who may have contracted it from whomever they slept with, who may have gotten it from…need I go further? And, as expensive as the vaccine is, it’s noticeably cheaper than dealing with cervical cancer.

  34. Doug Ross


    Where did I say anything that suggests a woman should not get the shot? I said it should not be mandatory. “Mandatory” has a lot of baggage that goes with it… how do you enforce it? How do you track it? Should the government know that a woman has had the shot or not? I don’t think so.

  35. Doug Ross

    I’m thinking Bristol Palin could be a great spokesperson for n
    the shot.

    “When abstinence is just too darn difficult, try Gardisil! I buy it in bulk.”

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