Economic issues are women’s issues to Michele Bachmann’s female supporters

Is the 6th Congressional District a hotbed of girl power? The match-up in that district has revealed a depth of activism by women for their candidates that, while not surprising for DFLer Tarryl Clark, is equally fervent for GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann.

Embedded in the national attention Bachmann gets for her conservative profile is a wide and deep well of female support.

Bachmann has been endorsed by Smart Girl Politics, a national grassroots conservative women’s organization. Bachmann was one of the women in the 2010 “Great American Conservative Women” calendar issued by the Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute, a think tank geared toward female conservatives. Bachmann and Clark are even in their support among women, according to the most recent Survey USA poll.

Rep. Michele Bachmann
MinnPost/Raoul Benavides
Rep. Michele Bachmann

Bachmann’s most committed women supporters, those who volunteer on her campaign for reelection, describe her in terms of a much-loved, highly respected best friend. Think Carrie Bradshaw and crew entering conservative politics.

For example, Chris Addington, a nurse from Baytown Township, relocated to live in Bachmann’s district. “She’s the whole package,” Addington says. “She’s genuine, passionate, intelligent and informed.”

Supporters like Addington and Sharon Dierberger of Lake Elmo see Bachmann as a politician with a unique combination of guts and savvy, God-fearing yet fearless in defense of her principles.

“She knows we need to have a government that is powerful enough to prevent anarchy but restricted enough to prevent tyranny,” said Dierberger. “Slowly what we have valued is disappearing.”

Feminists, of course, can disrespectfully disagree. One writer at Salon.com described Bachmann as “a seemingly bottomless source of outrageous wingnuttery.” To the claims, true and false, that Bachmann has a knack for the absurd, Addington defends but doesn’t unequivocally deny: “I’ve heard numerous people I’ve met on the campaign say they don’t agree eye to eye with her. They’ve had little ‘coming to Jesus’ talks with her. She’s been very receptive. She is very willing to admit she’s made mistakes.”

It doesn’t matter to those supporters that Bachmann’s stated positions on so-called women’s issues are few. They see her zeal for patriotism, the Constitution and smaller government as women’s issues. While reluctant to characterize Bachmann as having a special appeal to women, campaign manager Gina Countryman says that Bachmann’s front-burner issue of jobs and the economy resonates with women voters: “Women’s issues are making sure the economy doesn’t throw their children’s future down the drain. Economic issues are women’s issues.”

Dierberger put it this way: “Finally there is this awesome woman who talks and thinks like we think.”

Dierberger’s daughter, 17-year-old Kaitlyn, is also a Bachmann volunteer who topped off that observation: “She can bake cookies and still lead the country.”

Comments (21)

  1. Submitted by chuck holtman on 10/20/2010 - 09:19 am.

    Anyone else think Katherine Kersten is looking pretty good right now? “Bachmann’s front-burner issue of jobs and the economy” ?!? Shoot me already.

  2. Submitted by Beryl John-Knudson on 10/20/2010 - 10:12 am.

    Maybe there is one quote I can pull out of this story to agree with if one strips away the debris surrounding it…”Slowly what we have valued is disappearing…”

    I watched the local news channel here in the 8th District a day ago…Jim Oberstar debating Chip Cravaack at the local arena. It was an ugly scene called by the news report, a raucous crowd” as they yelled and hassled each other and the speakers.

    One local media channel even sped up the face of Oberstar talking; a slanted coverage to downsize his image. Not good, local media…only downsized your credibility and any professionalism.

    As the scenes of voter responses get uglier, something is lost here. Fear and hate and who gets the most; who deserves less has created a Darwinian nightmare…for even as we are failing overseas, we fail here too.

    …and take another look at the voting booth. It’s beginning to look like an outhouse smeared with graffiti-dung.

    The clouds roll in this morning and the days are shorter and we play out a drama that binds us in a state of hate…no grace here.

    We need a Wellstone; not a millstone that drags us down on all fours…but what you hear is what we’ll get and we’ll have to live with it.

    This is the time when the economy breeds dog piles of self interest that may just smother us…

    But then the words of the late, great writer and honest cynic, Kurt Vonnegut calls me back…

    “Still and all, why bother? Here’s the answer. Many people need desperately to receive this message: I feel and think as you do, care about things you care about, although most people do not care about them. You are not alone.”

    I hear you K.V., wherever you are… a good reminder.

  3. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 10/20/2010 - 10:23 am.

    Positive articles about conservative candidates on MinnPost; Democrats ducking for cover on the range….

    Is this the “change” we were promised in ’08?

    …we certainly “hope” so.

  4. Submitted by Jason Carle on 10/20/2010 - 10:31 am.

    Really Minnpost?

  5. Submitted by Ralf Wyman on 10/20/2010 - 10:33 am.

    I would respectfully request that Cyndy Brucato take two weeks of unpaid leave from MinnPost and just go ahead and volunteer at GOP HQ. Every politics story of hers I’ve read since she joined the staff has tilted dramatically right.

    Not what I come to MinnPost for. Independent media that digs in and looks for facts, please!

  6. Submitted by Alicia DeMatteo on 10/20/2010 - 11:49 am.

    “She can bake cookies and still lead the country.”

    Now, I’ll give you that this was said by a 17-year-old, but WHY is this an important quality? Are there congressional bake sales I’m unaware of?

    The idea of needing a woman to stand up for any so-called “women’s issues” feels very dated to me. Just as a woman can do anything a man can do, so can a man do anything a woman can do (including baking).

    “It doesn’t matter to those supporters that Bachmann’s stated positions on so-called women’s issues are few. They see her zeal for patriotism, the Constitution and smaller government as women’s issues.”

    Can we just agree to stop using the phrase “women’s issues”? I’m tired of seeing it dragged through the mud, and anything ever considered a “women’s issue” is also a man’s issue, so let’s just call them issues.

  7. Submitted by Leslie Martin on 10/20/2010 - 11:55 am.

    “has a knack for the absurd,” “willing to admit she’s made mistakes….”

    A good reporter would have included an example or two. A good editor would have insisted.

  8. Submitted by Jake Lunemann on 10/20/2010 - 11:57 am.

    She can bake cookies! That settles it then, I couldn’t possibly vote for anyone else. Give me a break with this article. Sheesh.

  9. Submitted by Stephan Flister on 10/20/2010 - 12:03 pm.

    Like any other troll, Ms. Brucato should not be fed.

  10. Submitted by NIcole Masika on 10/20/2010 - 12:17 pm.

    this is not journalism

  11. Submitted by David Dempsey on 10/20/2010 - 01:12 pm.

    Oh, please. This is the level of analysis? Can she bake brownies too while making gaffe after gaffe?

  12. Submitted by Ed Stych on 10/20/2010 - 01:16 pm.

    Ralf Wyman writes:
    “I would respectfully request that Cyndy Brucato take two weeks of unpaid leave from MinnPost and just go ahead and volunteer at GOP HQ. Every politics story of hers I’ve read since she joined the staff has tilted dramatically right. Not what I come to MinnPost for. Independent media that digs in and looks for facts, please!”

    And most of the other articles on MinnPost lean dramatically to the left. Nice to see an effort at balance on occasion.

    I’m not sure what Wyman means by “independent media,” but MinnPost is wedded to the Left in all respects. That’s why there are only about five of us conservatives who read it anymore (me less and less, except for the headlines).

  13. Submitted by Jeremy Powers on 10/20/2010 - 01:38 pm.

    I had hoped that Brucato wouldn’t be such a shallow shill. This isn’t just bad, it pathetic.

  14. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 10/20/2010 - 01:38 pm.

    This post is rated “R” for conservophobic hatred.

  15. Submitted by dan buechler on 10/20/2010 - 02:56 pm.

    Please write about the Concerned Women of America (CWA).

  16. Submitted by Neal Rovick on 10/20/2010 - 02:58 pm.

    ….”She’s genuine, passionate, intelligent and informed.”….

    Pick any one of those 4 characterizations. Examine it in light of her behavior. You will see that it is at dramatic odds with the other 3.

    It’s a perfect conundrum.

  17. Submitted by Jean Schiebel on 10/20/2010 - 05:58 pm.

    I certainly understand why men are enthralled by Michele Bachman.
    She is the epitome of the little woman from the 50’s and 60’s.
    Always there to serve her man.
    But an organization called “Smart Girl Politics” ?
    When I look at the woman the Republican party has for candidates running this year, I feel that I am trapped in a time capsule…
    Please people use your brain when you vote.

  18. Submitted by David Willard on 10/20/2010 - 08:22 pm.

    As the Left breaks down and blames Hate and Racism we must get true to our future and trust the citizen. The larger the Government, the smaller the citizen!

  19. Submitted by Annie Grandy on 10/20/2010 - 09:45 pm.

    She has been in Congress for 2 terms. She has done nothing for the district during that time and these women think she will do something for them? Pathetic!
    Especially pathetic is Brucato who is supposed to be a trained reporter who knows how to do research so she should know Bachmann is all talk and no action.
    And yes, I expected more of MinnPost. I have been a donor in the past but will not continue if they take the hard right turn they seem to be taking as reflected by Brucato’s reporting. I dropped my subscription to the Strib when they did it and I’ll quit supporting MinnPost just as quickly.

  20. Submitted by Dennis Tester on 10/21/2010 - 01:23 pm.

    @Jean – the reason men support Michele Bachmann is because she’s that rare woman who appreciates the same principles of freedom and individualism that men do. Well, real men anyway.

    It’s so refreshing to hear from a strong independent, low-maintenance woman who’s not demanding to be taken care of and who’s not working to create the nanny state by allowing government to regulate every aspect of our lives.

    @Annie – and to that end, she’s doing exactly what her constiuents want her to do. Get government out of our way.

  21. Submitted by Jon Kingstad on 10/21/2010 - 03:17 pm.

    Bachmann’s against “big government” except when she isn’t: unlimited pork to “defense industries”, subsidies to southern states with useless military bases, subsidies to agribusiness, subsidies to fossil energy businesses. Plus she supports government intrusion into private affairs through warrantless government wiretapping and making contraception and all forms of abortion illegal. If you want sizzle without the steak, vote for Bachmann.

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