Rep. Bachmann and MLB umpire Jim Joyce
Full Name: Michele Marie Bachmann
D.O.B.: April 6, 1956
Offices Held: Minnesota Congresswoman (2007- ), Minnesota State Senator (2001-2007)
Status: Suspended campaign
Why She Would've Won: Contrary to popular belief, Michele Bachmann is no Poor Man's Sarah Palin. Back in 2006, when Palin was still trying to make a name for herself in Alaska to be that state's governor, Bachmann was quickly becoming a mainstay of cable news programs as she vied to become a member of Congress. Bachmann made liberals' heads explode (a big plus in any GOP primary) when she told Hardball's Chris Matthews she'd like the media to expose politicians with "anti-American views". Though that sort of talk probably won't win over many Democrats, Bachmann's nagging suspicions that Barack Obama just ain't like the rest of us has made her the darling of the tea party. Bachmann delivered the tea party's "official" response to the 2011 State of the Union address, and founded the Tea Party Caucus in the House, which champions low taxes and harbors a deep-seeded hatred toward low-energy light bulbs. And while most of the GOP front-runners are all former office-holders, it helps that Bachmann is actually still a lawmaker and not living exclusively on Fox News's dime.
Why She Would've Lost: Though Bachmann is the hero of the tea party today, their votes will be highly coveted in the primaries, and a more "marketable" candidate with more money could completely usurp Bachmann's tea party message. Even if she did win the nomination, many voters prefer candidates who can appeal to the political center. Bachmann, on the other hand, combines the alienating fundamentalism of Pat Robertson, the laissez-faire economic policies of Herbert Hoover, and just a dash of Joseph McCarthy's good, old-fashioned anti-American paranoia. And though the 2010 midterms demonstrated the tea party is a political force to be reckoned with, politicians in the Bachmann mold like Sharron Angle and Christine O'Donnell failed to win their races, proving voters do have a limit to how much crazy they'll tolerate in a candidate.
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