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    Bachmann clearing the brush for Romney

    Bachmann clearing the brush for Romney

    Michele Bachmann pretty much ended Tim Pawlenty’s campaign.

    Bachman attacked Pawlenty relentlessly and took the Iowa straw poll, causing Pawlenty (foolishly, in hindsight) to withdraw.  In so doing, Bachmann eliminated the person who was the most viable not-Romney establishment candidate, a former Governor with a good, conservative record who appealed not only to Romney-supporting Republicans but also the Tea Party movement.

    Leaving Romney as the only establishment-acceptable candidate has paid huge dividends for Romney, as the hyperventilated National Review promotion of Romney demonstrates.

    Now Bachmann is trying to take out Newt, currently the only viable challenger to Romney if current polling is the measure.  Don’t take my word for it, because you know I’m not a Bachmann fan and have been harshly critical of her.

    There are two good analyses today.  While I may not agree with all their conclusions, Byron York and John Podhoretz correctly see the role Bachmann is playing for the Romney campaign.

    York, discussing Romney’s strategy of having others go after Newt, writes:

    The good news for Romney, of course, was that there were other candidates willing to take up the task of attacking Gingrich.  Foremost among them was Rep. Michele Bachmann, who first attacked Gingrich’s work for Freddie Mac, and then slammed his record on the issue of partial birth abortion….

    Team Romney did like it.  And afterward, Romney aides were happy to put in a good word for the congresswoman from Minnesota. “Michele Bachmann is good,” Stevens volunteered.  “She is good.  She’s cogent, she’s smart, unflappable — she must have been a heck of a lawyer.  Very, very good.  Very strong.” The message to Bachmann: Keep at it.

    Podhoretz writes:

    The Gingrich rocket may have reached its apogee and begun its rapid  descent.

    In which case, the beneficiaries will be  Mitt Romney — because he will have outlasted another challenger — and Rick  Perry, who had his best outing since the day he declared for the presidency in  August….

    She may not have helped herself, though. In serving as an attack dog, she may  have put voters off; but her attacks may help drive the soft Gingrich voter into  the Perry camp — or even into the arms of Rick Santorum, the only right-wing  candidate in the field not to get his moment in the top tier.

    Michele Bachmann never will be President, and contrary to some conspiratorial conjecture, Vice President either. I just don’t think she realizes it yet.


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    iambasic | December 16, 2011 at 4:11 pm

    Bachman didn’t help herself last night but she effectively showed how stupid and dangerous Ron Paul’s tin foil hat foreign policy was. For that I give much credit. As far as her attack on Newt, it simply made her look simple. It’s too bad a conservative candidate would waste precious time during a debate not promoting conservative ideas and laying waste to Obama’s socialism. Newt has done those things and is the reason he rose in the polling. The one thing I realized during that great debate last night is that I’m profoundly confident in our winning the White House and I’m comfortable with any of those candidates (sans Paul) as a President.

    beta rube | December 16, 2011 at 4:27 pm

    I just recieved an email under the banner of National Review that was a Linda McMahon fundraising lettter. Newt is outside the pale, but the Queen of Wrestling is A-OK?

    Just a question… How many Tea Party Activists have actively been supporting Gingrich throughout?

    Seems to me that the “groundswell” for Newt is primarily a groundswell against Mitt (as it was with Rick Perry and Herman Cain, and yes earlier for Michele Bachmann).

    Any true Tea Party activist has to admit that their support for Gingrich (AND Romney, AND Perry) is predicated upon their belief that a TRUE tea party will not win the nomination, and the Buckley precept comes into play. While all three (Romney, Gingrich, and Perry) mouth statements of support, all three have their fingerprints all over big government legislation.

    Yes, any would be better than Obama, but don’t pretend that any of the three is a real Tea Party advocate.

    BarbaraS | December 17, 2011 at 1:11 am

    If Romney wins the nomination kiss the presidency good-bye along with the country. We will be snookered. Good-bye to separation of powers (it’s pretty much that way now). Good-bye to a balanced SC. Th liberals will finally win their war against us. Good-bye to a good economy. There is no way Romney can stand against the obama machine AND the active dislike of conservatives. He might draw independents but that’s pretty much it. He would be doing the party a immense favor by withdrawing along with Bachmann, Huntsman, Paul and to my regret Santorum. I would say Santorum is the most conservative of all the candidates but does not have the necessary support. Romney is letting his ambition take precedence over the good of the country.

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