I like Michele Bachmann. She’s smart. She’s right on the issues (mostly). She’s feisty. She’s well-informed. She stands her ground. She’s not going to be President. In fact, she’s not going to be the Republican nominee for President. The best she can hope for is the Vice Presidential nomination, but that is also highly unlikely.
Her performance in the debate last night was terrible. First of all, she had nothing new to say, and seemed content to repeat the one-liners from the earlier debate–”Barack Obama is going to be a one term President.” Second, she got into a food fight with Tim Pawlenty–something that pleased Chris Wallace, but did her no good. She should have taken a cue from Romney, who refused to take the bait and simply said, “I liked Tim’s response at the first debate better.” Instead she looked desperate to defend herself and too eager to counterattack. Third, she may have gotten applause when she said “submissive” means that she “respects” her husband, but she was both theologically incorrect and she didn’t answer the real question–”Is your husband going to be making the decisions, if you are elected President.” Fourth, there were times when she looked like that cover on Newsweek. And who picked out her outfit anyway. Finally, her lack of executive experience and legislative accomplishments may not help Tim Pawlenty, but they will ultimately destroy her candidacy. We don’t need another President who requires on-the-job training.
Having said all that, she may indeed win the Ames Straw Poll. And if she does, it will keep her campaign going and in retrospective become the high point of her campaign. But if she loses Ames—she’s headed for an early exit. Either way, she won’t last past the Iowa caucuses.