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The Bachmann bus runs out of road

Andrew W. Griffin / Red Dirt Report
Has the Bachmann bus reached the end of the road? We think so.
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CORALVILLE,
Iowa – While in Des Moines earlier today, U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann’s campaign
bus idled on a downtown street near the hotel where fans of Ron Paul streamed
out of the downtown Marriott, looking almost high after hearing the straight-talking congressman in advance of Tuesday's first-in-the-nation caucuses.

But Bachmann was hiding out. In the bus. No surprise there, I guess. It was kind of depressing, seeing that bus there. She gave a father and her daughter a quick autograph, the father saying she was, well, "Minnesota nice."

Bachmann did provide a nice femininity to what has been a decidedly older, male-dominated race.

And it was
Bachmann who provided one of the best (overlooked) catchphrases of the fall
debate season – “Hold on, Moms!

Yes,
Moms (and Dads) were in the Hawkeye State were holding on, but when they took a
closer look at this hometown Iowa gal who now called Minnesota home, they
discovered a lack of depth in the candidate. Remember her August visit to her
hometown of Waterloo? It was viewed at best as a missed opportunity and at
worst, a disaster. She mainly camped out on her campaign bus and didn’t mix
with folks before her speaking engagement.

As Politico reported on Aug. 14, Bachmann,
who would win the Iowa Straw Poll, began to embrace a “diva-like” quality that
was quickly turning off the very people she would need to count on to caucus
for her months later: “And the event highlighted the brittle,
presidential-style cocoon that has become her campaign’s signature: a routine
of late entries, unexplained absences, quick exits, sharp-elbowed handlers with
matching lapel pins, and pre-selected questioners.”

We at Red Dirt Report found Bachmann to be a
curious candidate. While increasingly well-known, Bachmann always seemed to be
in the shadow of the more popular Sarah Palin, at least when it came to
Republican women.

Bachmann
made numerous bizarre statements and made strange decisions over the past six
months. There was that talk of a donor who wanted to pay to move the US embassy
from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. She said Hezbollah wanted to build missile sites in
Cuba and what of her hiring shady, CIA-linked “evangelical operative” Peter E.
Waldron
to run her “faith outreach efforts” in advance of the Straw Poll in
Ames. Very strange stuff.

Many
said Bachmann peaked early. Still, she managed to stick it out over the course
of the fall, getting increasingly annoyed in the televised debates, even
awkwardly demanding that the other candidates and the media take her seriously.
It was clear the end of the road was near. Especially when social conservative
and evangelical Christians – confused and not sure who to support – began flocking
to Rick Santorum in the final hours before the caucus.

And then,
last week, a leading Bachmann supporter and Iowa state senator, Kent Sorenson,
bolted the Bachmann campaign to join the Ron Paul camp, a development that
stunned political watchers. The Bachmann campaign was clearly foundering by the
new year.While Bachmann is gamely saying that there are enough undecided caucusgoers in Iowa who could caucus for her at the last minute, such a scenario is unlikely if the dwindling crowds and high-level defections are any indication. Oh, she'll putter on down the road to evangelical-friendly South Carolina, but the winner in Iowa, be it Ron Paul or Mitt Romney or - good heavens! - Rick Santorum, they will have the momentum and the Bachmann bus will probably remain parked in a Spartanburg Wal-Mart parking lot for the duration.

And
while it was in the 20’s, it was clear in downtown Des Moines today and
Bachmann was hunkered down in that famous bus of hers, waiting out the inevitable. Oh, she had a bunch of enthusiastic young folks from her alma mater of Oral Roberts University in Oklahoma up in her Urbandale, Iowa campaign headquarters making calls on her behalf. But, as the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported today, the bushy-tailed volunteers could muster little enthusiasm with caucusgoers in their effort to get them to support their fading candidate.

But not
all Iowans have ditched Bachmann. Here in Iowa City, Bachmann had a minor
political victory when she came in first among GOP presidential candidates in
the “Coffee Bean Caucus” at the Hamburg Inn.

Copyright 2012 West Marie Media

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Andrew W. Griffin

Editor & Owner.

Andrew W. Griffin received his Bachelor of Science in Journalism from...

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Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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