Last night, when the House passed its “Cut, Cap and Balance” legislation, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) voted against it — because, as she explains it, the legislation didn’t go far enough. In the first place, she said, it did nothing to address Obamacare, the largest spending and entitlement program in our nation’s history. But, more broadly, from Bachmann’s perspective, no deal deserves a debt limit increase. Today, she followed up her “no” vote with the release of her second campaign ad, entitled, “Courage.” The thrust of the video is simple: Bachmann will not compromise on the debt ceiling.
The ad boasts the same personal charm as her first ad, “Waterloo,” and again mentions that she grew up in Iowa. But it also highlights the firmness on fiscal issues that, in many ways, is a Bachmann hallmark. When she says determinedly in the first sentence of the ad, “I. will. not. vote. to. increase. the. debt. ceiling,” she reiterates each word with a pointed hand gesture. The ad also mentions her time in Congress, casting the reality of her tenure there in a positive light: She has watched while her colleagues in Washington have voted to spend money the nation doesn’t have. “Watching” reflects the reality of her record, which at least one competitor has criticized as “nonexistent” — but which just as easily could be characterized as her biggest strength. She has been in the trenches this entire time and she has cast the votes conservatives would presumably want her to cast, up to and maybe even including — although this seems like a stretch — her “no” vote on “Cut, Cap and Balance.” At least she’s always voting “no” for the right reasons.
When Bachmann says, to conclude the ad, “I have the will and the courage to see this through,” it’s hard not to believe her, especially in light of the firm statement she released yesterday to combat reports she experiences “incapacitating” migraines. Even in that statement, she turned her attention quickly to the fiscal issues facing the country, allowing herself little time for self-pity.