Michele Bachmann says she’s not the national spokeswoman for Tea party

Hotel guests around the country woke up today with news in their USA Today about the Tea Party and U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann’s role in the movement that the paper calls a “political hurricane.”

The paper says:

“GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann, a two-term member of the House from Minnesota, has become a favorite speaker at Tea Party rallies. Though the 54-year-old congresswoman started an official Tea Party Caucus in the House, she’s eager to portray herself as a facilitator of the movement, not a leader.”

Bachmann told the paper: “I’m not the national spokeswoman. No person in Congress is the spokesperson for the Tea Party because it’s an organic, spontaneous movement by people all across the country. …

“Our goal is not to co-opt the movement. We don’t want to run it from Washington, D.C. We don’t want to give directives to the Tea Party movement. We don’t want to give them an agenda or tell them what to do or tell them what to do or manage them in any way.”

She was asked how she gets elected in Minnesota, where voters have favored Democrats for president longer than any other state:

“Minnesota really doesn’t like phonies. … They appreciate a politician who will be who they say they are. As far left as (the late Democratic senator) Paul Wellstone was, he was respected for not squishing on his views, and I’m the same way.

“I’m a strong, unashamed, unapologetic conservative activist for the free market. People know that about me, and I’m respected because I don’t squish on my views.”

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Comments (8)

  1. Submitted by Paul Brandon on 08/13/2010 - 10:56 am.

    Given the number of times she’s retracted or modified her comments, it’s not clear that she’s even the official spokesperson for herself!

  2. Submitted by Hénock Gugsa on 08/13/2010 - 01:47 pm.

    I agree with Ms. Bachmann on at least two of the points she made …

    1 – “Unashamed” – True, she’s shameless about seeking a national image (fame, and the inevitably ensuing personal fortune.)

    2 – “Squishing” – She does love to squish the truth to fit her goals. Her denials about her role in the Tea Party further strengthen and solidify her leadership role there.

  3. Submitted by Dennis Tester on 08/13/2010 - 04:31 pm.

    As much as they’d like to, it’s hard for the Left to isolate and target a leader of the Tea Party movement. Movements are based on ideas and principles. There is no need for a Tea Party leader any more than there’s a need for the civil rights movement or the conservative movement.

    The Left despises her because she articulates the ideas and principles of the conservatism, which is the antithesis of the collectivist, government controlled, nanny state that they require.

  4. Submitted by Hénock Gugsa on 08/13/2010 - 05:28 pm.

    @ #3 – “As much as they’d like to, it’s hard for the Left to isolate and target a leader of the Tea Party movement …. The Left despises her…”

    I am at a loss about what to make of those comments. But, I’ll try to respond all the same.

    First of all, the difficulty with addressing or understanding the Tea Party is that it is a confluence of various mob-like groups. And, as you say, maybe they don’t need a leader only some cowardly ring-leader(s) with possibly nefarious goals. Don’t worry, they will surface later, but by then it will be too late. You would have been thoroughly brainwashed with goose-step ultra-right “conservatism.”

    Secondly, surely even the Tea Party should espouse and encourage any and all discourse about the Government, and about freedom of speech. Why are you so over-defensive about the Left criticizing you? Nobody is being attacked personally, only their ideas, ideologies, and motivations.

    Last point … Strange that with the very same breath you use to complain about the Left’s criticism, you manage to spew your own venom at them.

  5. Submitted by Hénock Gugsa on 08/13/2010 - 07:28 pm.

    Addendum: –

    I also have a problem equating the Tea Party movement to the Civil Rights or the Conservative movements. These earlier movements had leaders (they even had martyrs.)

    The Civil Rights movement had of-course Martin Luther King Jr., Ralph Abernathy, and many other note-worthy leaders. The Conservatives had very astute thinkers like Buckley and resolute leaders like Ronald Reagan and Barry Goldwater.

    But the Tea Party … well the Tea Party claims it does not need any leaders. Why? And why do those individuals that are associated with it utterly reject any leadership role? If it is such a wonderful movement, why shun it?

  6. Submitted by Paul Brandon on 08/13/2010 - 09:52 pm.

    Hard to say ‘articulate’ and ‘Bachmann’ in the same breath!

  7. Submitted by Melodie Morstad on 08/13/2010 - 11:45 pm.

    Sounds like she wants to have her cake and eat it too. She wants to be closely associated with the Tea Party movement, but by denying leadership retain the ability to distance herself from it should things go sour. Ok Michelle, you aren’t a “leader”, but you are a person of power lending your name and influence to the movement. Don’t be so modest.

  8. Submitted by mat noel on 08/14/2010 - 01:10 am.

    For the demonstrably insane hack Bachman to compare herself to the late great Paul Wellstone is all anyone needs to see to know what’s up in Minnesota…may God have mercy on her soul….

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