Michele Bachmann appeared on the Newshour where she said this about her prospects for prevailing at the Iowa Caucuses:
“We have identified already more supporters than even Mike Huckabee had when he won on caucus night. Now our plan is to mobilize and get them out to caucus night,” she said.
That sounds like a plan, something that big shots like, say, Newt Gingrich and Herman Cain have not yet developed.
Bachmann was the first Not-Romney to inflate a bubble and then fade back into the second-tier. As a Congresswoman from Minnesota, Bachmann already had a fairly limited natural base of support. Add in her tendency to say cockeyed things about vaccines, and it's hard not to see why she seemed to fade away.
But still, if we really are looking to nominate - or at least support - a conservative in the nomination, I think there's a good argument for taking a third look at Bachmann. In terms of substance, she's shown herself to be superior to the showman Herman Cain and the slowman Rick Perry. She may not have Newt Gingrich or Mitt Romney's sweeping command of policy, but she can hold her own with them without batting an eyelash. She's willing to appear in hostile media - something Romney is verrrry reluctant to do - and acquits herself well.
In fact, Bachmann is the most relentless and focused critic of Pres. Obama in the presidential field, in Congress, and, perhaps, in the Republican Party. She's the only presidential candidate explicitly promising to do away with Obamacare, cut taxes, and produce a budget with real cuts. As a spokesman for the Tea Party values that led to the 2010 election sweep, Bachmann is almost without peer.
Mostly, you have to be impressed with how she has continued to campaign despite her set-backs, many of them self-inflicted. She might have fallen precipitously in the polls, but she still goes out there with a winning smile and a confident mien. She is a happy warrior, even when things are going against her.
And, of course, she and her family have been the objects of the sort of deranged attacks and insults that are reserved for only conservatism's stalwarts. ("Lyin' A** B*tch?" What's she ever lied about?) The left hates her. If there's one thing we've learned, it's that the left hates those conservatives they fear. Bachmann is a singular figure, yet she has an appeal that can cross political boundaries. That is unacceptable for many elements in American society, especially those at the top.
Can she win in Iowa? At this point, who knows? She did win the Ames Straw Poll, after all. Plus, if you are trying to parse out who is the most "real" conservative in the race, she has to take that honor. The media and the political establishment have already buried her, but voters still have a rationale to support her.