By Alan Steinberg | June 14th, 2011 - 1:01am
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During the past few days, Michele Bachman has achieved major political milestones.  Last night, however, in the New Hampshire Republican presidential debate, I really believe that with her outstanding performance, she eliminated any chance the absent Sarah Palin had to compete for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.  Michele now occupies the space Palin covets, that of the conservative alternative to the center-right candidate, Mitt Romney.

 

Romney also performed well in the debate.  Tim Pawlenty failed to establish himself as a dynamic center-right alternative to Mitt.  Instead, Pawlenty resembles the late Dallas Cowboys football coach Tom Landry – a national cure for insomnia.  As for Newt Gingrich, it is hard to take seriously a man who attributed his extra-marital affair in part to his love for his country.

 

In fact, I believe the 2012 GOP presidential nomination will in the end be decided in a contest between Romney and Bachmann – with Senator Marco Rubio of Florida being the Republican vice presidential nominee of either candidate.

 

Michele Bachmann’s political “winning streak” began Saturday, June 11 with her interview by Stephen Moore in the Wall Street Journal.  In this article, she established herself as a person of major intellectual competency and issue awareness.  While Sarah Palin has been lambasted by liberal media as a person lacking in intellectual curiosity and knowledge of issues, this criticism cannot be made of Michele Bachmann with any credibility.  The following is a link to the interview:

 

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB100014240527023...

 

Early on Monday, June 13, Bachmann announced her candidacy for the Presidency.  She has the most competent team in the race, two members of which have significant New Jersey experience.

 

In charge of the campaign will be Ed Rollins, who managed Christie Whitman’s come from behind 1993 New Jersey gubernatorial victory over Jim Florio.  Notwithstanding Ed’s post-election meltdown, he ran a superb campaign with a superb candidate.  He is one of America’s top political strategists.

 

Bachmann has hired as pollster Ed Goeas, CEO of The Tarrance Group.  Ed has handled a number of New Jersey campaigns, including the gubernatorial campaigns of Christie Whitman, and he may well be the best Republican pollster in the nation.

 

Finally, Michele has hired Brett O’Donnell, advisor to George W. Bush and John McCain.  He is considered to be the best debate coach in politics.

 

Thus, Bachmann brings to the race an A-Team.  She also, however, has a most impressive resume and compelling biography as well.

 

After graduating from high school, Michele spent time working on a kibbutz in Israel.  She later obtained the following degrees: a B.A., a J.D., and an L.L.M. degree in taxation.  She served as an attorney for the Internal Revenue Service for five years.

 

Many politicians preach family values.  Michele Bachmann practices what she preaches.  She and her husband, Marcus are the parents of five children.  They have provided foster care for 23 other children.

 

She also has a made-to-order political base:  Tea Party members will vote for her overwhelmingly in the primaries.

 

Liberal pundits laugh and sneer when the name Michele Bachmann is mentioned.  This actually plays into her hands.  When debate viewers see Bachmann give an outstanding competent and polished performance, as she did in last night’s New Hampshire debate, they are shocked.  Her liberal critics have established a low bar for her, which she can jump over with ease.

 

I don’t know yet which of the two leading Republicans I will support for the nomination, Mitt Romney or Michele Bachmann.  I like them both.  It is wrong for people to disparage the Republican presidential primary field when you have two excellent candidates like these.  I can support either of these two potential nominees with enthusiasm.

 

I expect a number of scathing liberal slanderous comments regarding Michele Bachmann to be posted underneath this column.  From her point of view, the more the merrier.  She handles these attacks much better than Sarah Palin.  Michele Bachmann is the most underrated Republican in the nation.

 

Alan J. Steinberg served as Regional Administrator of Region 2 EPA during the administration of former President George W. Bush. Region 2 EPA consists of the states of New York and New Jersey, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and eight federally recognized Indian nations. Under former New Jersey Governor Christie Whitman, he served as Executive Director of the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission. He currently serves on the political science faculty of Monmouth University. 

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