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Another Aspect to the Bachmann Candidacy

July 27, 2011

Though we’re only partway through primary season, it is already clear that Michele Bachmann’s campaign will leave a lasting impact on future candidates – from how her Tea Party message fares, to reinvigorating conservative women on a national platform.

But there’s another facet to Bachmann’s place in history that is removed from the content of her message or identity. She’s a member of the House of Representatives… and that’s it. This isn’t to say that she’s not qualified. Rather, this is an important historical moment for this is the first time in the modern era of presidential politics that just a congressperson (George HW was also head of the CIA) is a viable and potentially likely nominee of a major party. This isn’t because Representatives haven’t run and made impacts in the past, but they haven’t – from the records I trolled back through – really pierced through to the top two or so genuine possibilities. (The last I found was Cordell Hull in 1928, but he was in office for 22 years before running.).

As American distaste for anything related to the “establishment” grows, it seems that the requisite resume positions of old (Senator or Governor) don’t hold as much water. There were exceptions to the rule in the past – Ross Perot, Pat Robertson, Jesse Jackson – but they were just that, exceptions (also none of them were Representatives).

If Bachmann continues to succeed, she will drastically lower the clearing hurdle for future candidates. A resume of governance will take a back seat to charisma, big ideas and inspirational qualities.

I’m torn whether or not this is a good direction. But, I guess that’s something I’ll need to vote on.

“Another Aspect to the Bachmann Candidacy” – Ricochet

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