But though Palin and Bachmann may seem like GOP doppelgangers, there's a lot separating them as well. And the differences have led a growing chorus of Beltway watchers to conclude that Bachmann would actually be the more credible candidate of the two. Having watched the Minnesota congresswoman on the trail for years, Minnesota political operatives on both sides of the aisle warn against simply laughing off Bachmann. "You underestimate Michele Bachmann at your own peril," says Zach Rodvold, the campaign manager for her Democratic opponent in 2010.Gee, doesn't that line from Zach Rodvold sound familiar? Former opponents of Governor Palin have also sounded such alarms. They aren't alone. In fact, a lot of people have warned rivals not to underestimate the governor, including former presidents. Bill Parker, a well-known Alaska Democrat once said "she came out of nowhere and beat us like a drum."
Khimm's piece goes on to list the reasons why she thinks Bachmann is a better candidate for Conservatives to "rally behind." She states that "Bachmann's an organizer," then she downplays Governor Palin's popularity as solely being "built on the celebrity status and enormous platform she gained as Sen. John McCain's running mate."As a supporter of Governor Palin's BEFORE John McCain picked her to be his running mate in 2008 - based in Southern California of all places - I reject the writer's statement outright.
Governor Palin was a rare voice pushing for better energy policies in this nation, when I first started following her career in 2007. After learning about how she took on the corrupt establishment of her own party, the governor had me organized, if you will. I followed her lead in writing a letter to Harry Reid arguing in favor of opening ANWR. That's natural leadership. Certainly Bachmann's organizational and speaking abilities are commendable, but they shouldn't be hyped in an effort to downplay Governor Palin's long, successful career.
The next item in Khimm's piece states that "Bachmann has a sense of humor." She then, amazingly writes:
In the wake of the Tucson shooting, Palin accused her critics of "blood libel" after she was attacked for putting crosshairs on a 2010 campaign map, igniting yet another media firestorm. Palin's addiction to feuding has made her enemies on both sides of the aisle.Did you get that? Governor Palin doesn't have a sense of humor because she didn't find it humorous how the left and their lapdogs in the press were accusing her of being an accessory to murder. That was supposed to be a joke, don't you know. Somehow, not only did Governor Palin not get the joke, but it flew over the Tea Party's head too. Considering they were also accused of being accessories to a slaughter. All while, with the exception of a couple of Republican senators, the GOP remained utterly silent. Nobody was laughing.
Khimm's third point as to why Michele Bachmann is better for Conservatives than Palin is that "Bachmann's better at thinking on her feet." To prove her point, the writer proclaims that Governor Palin had "missteps" after being "thrust onto the national stage," then concedes that Bachmann "hasn't been put under the same national magnifying glass." Leaving aside the location of the Battles of Concord and Lexington, Khimm goes on to quote Bachmann's congressional opponent mentioned earlier, Zach Rodvold's campaign manger saying "she sounds knowledgeable, she sticks to her message, and repeats it." If you're trying to prove that somebody is good at thinking on their feet, why would you add a quote that indicates that person is choreographed? That's a less than convincing argument.
Khimm's forth item on the list states that "Bachmann knows how to use the national media." I'm starting to wonder if that's not the other way around... Khimm writes about Governor Palin's relationship with the media, the way you can imagine any left-wing writer would write about the topic. But then, she praises Bachmann for her many appearances on MSNBC. The last time I checked, Michele Bachmann wasn't photoshopped on to a different woman's body, who was wearing a bikini, then had that image used as if it were a regular news graphic on MSNBC. I also don't recall MSNBC pushing conspiracies about Bachmann motivating a massacre. I could waste my entire weekend citing examples of things said and done to Governor Palin on MSNBC, that they have not done to any other public figure.
Then there's the matter of Governor Palin being a Fox New contributor. As with all other Fox contributors, the governor is no doubt restricted by her contract from appearing on other networks. She appeared on CNN, NBC, and others before she signed a contract with Fox. To criticize her for not going on MSNBC is about as fair as criticizing her for not knowing how to surf, considering she grew up in Alaska. There are many reasons why Governor Palin (like most of the country) avoids that MSNBC.
Last but not least, on Khimm's list of Bachmann's conservative attributes is "Bachmann's not a quitter." Because what self-respecting liberal can write a whole article about Governor Palin without writing the word "quitter." Khimm doesn't tell her readers why Governor Palin resigned. Instead she claims the governor gave "the distinct impression that she didn't care for the dirty work of governing." She then tries to connect it by writing that Bachmann never resigned her House seat to pursue higher office. Why would she have? Bachman hasn't been hampered from governing like Governor Palin was by a cluster-storm of frivolous lawsuits (some for doing interviews with the media, by the way). Bachmann hasn't had to deal with a full-court press against her from a national political party. She hasn't had her state's business put on hold, her constituents tax-dollars spent to deal with an onslaught of operative tactics. Apples and oranges, Suzy. Apples and oranges.
The non-stop comparisons between Governor Palin and Michele Bachmann are somewhat irritating, but when columnists start touting a favorite, they becomes suspect. Suzy Khimm isn't alone pushing this agenda, so expect to see more of it. Beware of left-wingers giving advice to Conservatives. Their advice will never be in our best interest.
Perhaps they know something more about Bachmann's electability than they're letting on. If you think about it, we know little about Bachmann's life. The media has not gone after her in the same way they have gone after Governor Palin (and don't get me wrong, I'm not wishing such a fate on anyone; though it will happen eventually to whomever the nominee is when Obama's machine goes after that person). Bachmann's voting record, some of the things she has said, her family, are all relatively untouched in comparison to the governor, and the left knows it. They have managed to throw everything they have at Governor Palin, expose every detail (real or made-up) about of her life, even accuse her of mass murder, and still, the governor stands tall above their feeble efforts to diminish her. They know what a true threat Governor Palin is to their power and their agenda. They don't promote people who have the capacity to damage them in either arena.