Undeclared presidential candidate Michele Bachmann sat still for a 30-minute interview on Iowa Public Television and managed to make no news at all, except perhaps that after extensive praying over whether to run for president she has had “that calling and that tugging on my heart that this is the right thing to do.”
But even that quote illustrates my main takeaway from the interview, which is that Bachmann has really worked on toning it down and staying away from the kind of fact-challenged crazy-talk that both got her noticed and got her in trouble in earlier stages of her political career.
You can read or watch the whole thing here. But it’s not exactly the Bachmann that Minnesotans have come to know in the past. Despite the various fairly obvious invitations from her two questioners to say something that she would regret, or something that would just make a teensy bit of news — about any of her Republican opponents, about Obama’s birth certificate, about Medicare, about any issue at all — she just stayed on ground that (especially compared to some of her past performances) was incredibly safe.
Here’s the full quote on the calling to run for prez:
Henderson: You recently referenced your Christian faith. Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, when he announced he would not run, said that he just didn’t feel called to do that. Have you had that sort of calling to run for president?
Bachmann: Well, every decision that I make I pray about as does my husband and I can tell you, yes, I’ve had that calling and that tugging on my heart that this is the right thing to do and because it’s such a momentous decision, not only for myself, my husband and our 28 children, it is a momentous decision what ideas will I bring to bear? What are the resources that I have to marshal in terms of people, assets, the message and also the finances, the amount of time this will take, what this will mean for the nation. Am I the right person for the job? Every decision and every endeavor my husband and I have made we think it through, we’re not rash people. We make a plan because we want to succeed, we don’t want to fail and so we’ve been very deliberative in this process and that’s why we’re now coming to the culmination and next month, as I announced last night, I’ll make that decision right here in Waterloo and the world will know.
And here’s one of several versions of what she wants Iowans to know about her:
Glover: What should Iowa republican activists know about Michele Bachmann?
Bachmann: What they should know is that I’m an Iowan, that I was born here and that I’m an optimist. I came from a lower-middle class family, I had to work my way through college and through life. My husband and I we’re very modest means and we live the American dream. We worked extremely hard. I want them to know I’m a very hard worker, I’m committed to my faith, I’m committed to our family but I’m committed most of all to the ideals that created the nation. I love the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States, the Bill of Rights, I stand on those ideas and those values. The founders wrote in the Federalist Paper that the greatest quality for a president of the United States would be their character and not that I’m a sinless individual, I’m a great sinner, that’s why I became a Christian, I needed forgiveness from a Holy God but what I want people to know is that I value life, I’m 100% pro-life, I’m pro-marriage, pro-family and I’m 100% pro-American jobs.