Politico notes, correctly, that this is a great line directed at Romney, an “eh” line directed at Pawlenty, and a dumb line directed at Perry or Palin. There’s no obvious way out of this box: After four years of blaming the failures of Hopenchange in part on The One having never run so much as a lemonade stand, how do Republicans turn around now and take a chance on Bachmann?
Bachmann said executive experience doesn’t matter if it comes with “more of the same big government as usual.”
“This election will be about quite simply, who can lead that restructuring effort,” Bachmann said, referring to turning around the economy and working to repeal the federal health care reform law.
“Executive experience in government is one thing, but not when it comes to a promise of more of the same big government as usual,” she continued.
“Right on!” says Rick Perry, hunkered down in his office and feverishly dialing political operatives in New Hampshire. Bachmann’s other emerging problem is that the more she woos the Huckabee faction in Iowa with ostentatious displays of social conservatism, as she did last week when she signed a marriage pledge so heavy-handed that even Gingrich is shying away from it, the more she risks being pigeonholed as a “Christian candidate” a la Huck three years ago. Case in point: “Nightline” is planning to run a report tonight in which a former patient at the counseling center owned by Bachmann and her husband will claim that he was advised to pray the gay away. Won’t hurt her a bit with social cons, but if it does come down to her and, say, Romney for the nomination, his pitch to undecideds will be that the GOP can’t afford sideshows that take them off-message when they’re trying to beat Obama on the economy. Which of course is actually 90 percent of the reason to consider nominating Pawlenty. Once the general election campaign begins, blandness is very much a virtue.
As we approach 2012, there are important lessons we can learn from all of this. First, we should never entrust the White House to a far-left ideologue who has no appreciation or even understanding of the free market and limited government principles that made this country economically strong. Second, the office of the presidency is too important for on-the-job training. It requires a strong chief executive who has been entrusted with real authority in the past and has achieved a proven track record of positive measurable accomplishments. Leaders are expected to give good speeches, but leadership is so much more than oratory. Real leadership requires deeds even more than words. It means taking on the problems no one else wants to tackle. It means providing vision and guidance, inspiring people to action, bringing everyone to the table, and with a servant’s heart dedicating oneself to striking agreements that keep faith with our Constitution and with the ordinary citizens who entrusted you with power. It means bucking the status quo, fighting the corrupt powers that be, serving the common good, and leaving the country better than you found it. Most of us don’t see a lot of that real leadership in D.C., and it’s profoundly disappointing.
Pawlenty’s been pushing precisely the same message on the trail in Iowa lately. Hey Ed Rollins — any idea who Palin’s talking about here?