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Conservative Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann battles reputation as fringe character July 16, 2011

Posted by rmshepard in Uncategorized.
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Minnesota Congresswoman and presidential candidate Michele Bachmann has been called the dark horse candidate in the 2012 Republican primaries. As CNN reporter Peter Hamby noted, “Her charisma and crossover appeal to both social and fiscal conservatives have the three-term Minnesota congresswoman rising in the polls and primed to make a serious impact on the GOP nomination fight.” She has been fierce in raising campaign funds, has been ever present and well-liked in early primary states, and according to most accounts is “taking steps to position herself as a credible alternative to the crop of establishment-friendly White House contenders with deep pockets and long political resumes.” Can Bachmann be the next President of the United States?

Answering such a question poses another: Can Bachmann really erase the memory of her past? The Congresswoman’s reputation of being controversial, offensive, and unpredictable in her public appearances led Fox News journalist Chris Wallace to ask her in an interview in June 2011  whether she was a “flake”? Bachmann did a fine job suggesting that the question was offensive, but with a long history of bizarre statements the Congresswoman will have an uphill battle of shaking her reputation as a fringe character.

For more on this story, see the following compilation of Bachmann’s past statements that have raised eyebrows:

Discussion Questions:

1.  Why would the public be concerned that candidate Bachmann has been so flippant, unpredictable, and even wrong in the past?

2.  Do you think that her past makes her unelectable in the general election? Why, or why not?

3.  Imagine that you are assisting the Congresswoman with her campaign. How should Bachmann attempt to downplay her past reputation as a bizarre agitator?

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