Politico: To gain, Bachmann has to upend conventional wisdom about Perry

The new narrative seems to be that Texas Gov. Rick Perry has dethroned Congresswoman Michele Bachmann as the darling of the Tea Party and that he’ll continue to rise while her stock sinks.

Not so fast, say Paul Goldman and Mark J. Rozell in an opinion piece in Politico today.

Goldman, a former chairman of the Democratic Party of Virginia and Rozell, a professor of public policy at George Mason University, say Bachmann’s best chance to ultimately win the nomination is to upset the conventional wisdom (CW) that seems almost ready to enthrone Perry:

For an underdog like Bachmann, nomination politics is rooted in creating momentum by defying the CW — that is, beating expectations big — in a high-profile shootout with one of those anointed as a front-runner.

They say Bachmann has classic anti-establishment appeal candidate and is running against the establishment of both parties:

In terms of presidential politics, she’s best viewed as a throwback to others who used Iowa to beat expectations. George McGovern, Jimmy Carter and Gary Hart were all Democratic underdogs who used better-than-expected showings in Iowa to sling-shot into contention despite the [conventional wisdom].

That’s why she needs Perry:

So without such a big “Alpha Dog” as Perry to challenge, how can an underdog like Bachmann beat expectations? Ed Rollins, the Bachmann campaign strategist, gets it. He knows she must do what McGovern, Carter and Hart did on the Democratic side: demolish the CW and show that the party emperors and purveyors of the CW have no clothes.

Iowa is crucial for her, “a do-or-die moment,” they say:

In presidential nomination politics, unlike in sports, a win is not necessarily a win. Without a frontrunner to slay, a win in the nation’s first caucuses by Bachmann, the native Iowan who’s now a congresswoman from neighboring Minnesota, would be written off as a geographical accident. But if she takes down a frontrunner, it would be indeed an entirely different game.

You can also learn about all our free newsletter options.

Comments (3)

  1. Submitted by Marcia Brekke on 09/03/2011 - 09:04 am.

    Bachmann vs. Perry? If either of them gets the nomination, it’s final proof that the Republican party has gone over the far-right edge.

    I hope the electorate rejects such an extreme, but folks are eager to believe in a savior, no matter how loony their ideas appear to many of us.

  2. Submitted by Derek Wain on 09/03/2011 - 09:07 am.

    I live in southwestern NH and am active in local Republican politics. There is virtually no campaign of any kind going on here by any campaign. It traditionally starts up in late September.
    Romney has been the most active with numerous visits to plants and local events. However, the response has been lukewarm, because he is a RINO. His problem is precisely that we know him well, especially Romneycare.
    The fight will be between Perry and Bachmann, neither of whom has done much on the ground yet. She is admired for her constitutional conservatism which resonates very well here in a small state where Federalism is an important issue.
    The negative commentary and name calling about her you read online comes from left wing journalists or activist Democrats. But the NH Republican Primary will be decided by our Tea Party as well as by other conservatives.

  3. Submitted by Paul Brandon on 09/04/2011 - 01:20 pm.

    The Tea Party is the best thing that ever happened to the Democrats. If the Republicans allow their party to by hijacked by the radical right wing they are ceding the middle that determines elections to the Democrats.

    And BTW — Romney is not a RINO; he is what used to be considered a moderate Northeastern Republican (see Nelson Rockefeller for a successful example).
    It’s the Palin, Perry, Bachmannn axis who are RINOS; radical right libertarians running as Republicans.

Leave a Reply