Michele Bachmann wants two things now: To be taken seriously, and to win the No. 4 position in the House leadership ranks. The problem is, she keeps on spouting batshit craziness.
It's hard to win the hearts and minds of folks like soon-to-be Speaker of the House John Boehner when they have to spend their time ducking and covering from yet another gaffe-laden guano attack.
But Bachmann's trying anyway.[jump]
We know this because someone leaked an application letter she wrote to Boehner, in which she makes her case. We can only assume it was leaked to sabotage Bachmann, not help her.
In it, she says she wants to "build on the excellent work Chairman Mike Pence has accomplished." But Pence already endorsed the guy favored for the post, Rep. Jeb Hensarling of Texas. Oh snap!
She says she has "strong principled conservative values," but she has happily taken a fat government subsidy for her family farm.
Update: Jacon Sullum at the libertarian Reason blog:
Her stand against wasteful, unjustified spending is also belied by the agricultural subsidies her family farm has received. As you may have heard, she is also a bit of a loon.
Bachmann brags about a "proven level of experience," but she's the first to admit she has never moved a single piece of meaty legislation through Congress.
And she says she has "effectiveness with our friends in the local and national media." OK. That's true. But "friends" means that she runs away from CNN cameras and Newsweek reporters while taking campaign donations from Sean Hannity and ego strokes from Jason Lewis.
"It is important that our conference demonstrate to the people who sent us here that their concerns will be tirelessly advanced at the table of leadership," she says. Not, you know, like all the veteran congressmen and women she would need on her side for any chance of success.
She said she could provide the viewpoint of a constitutional conservative, one she evidently sees lacking in Representatives John A. Boehner of Ohio, Eric Cantor of Virginia and Kevin McCarthy of California -- the three likely leaders.
Update: The New York Times reminds everyone that:
She introduced a "Light Bulb Freedom of Choice Act" in response to laws banning the use of traditional incandescent bulbs in favor of compact fluorescent bulbs.
She has called global warming a "hoax."
- She warned that an expansion of AmeriCorps would lead to "mandatory service" for the government and placed in "re-education camps."
She told MSNBC's Chris Matthews that "I wish the American media would take a great look at the views of the people in Congress and find out are they pro-America, or anti-America. I think people would love to see an expose like that."
Update: Daniel Larison at the American Conservative writes:
"Let me state up front that I don't want Michelle Bachmann to have any leadership responsibilities in the 112th Congress."
It's not for nothing that noted leftie Keith Olbermann mocked her as "Iced Tea."
To make matters worse, Politico got hold of another letter, from rising conservative star Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin. He urged House leaders to support Hensarling.
"Jeb's economic expertise and strong ability to communicate are what we need in our conference chairman to articulate our unified commitment to get our country back on track," Ryan said. "This position requires someone who has a command of these issues and has a history of successfully debating them."
Ouch. The garvitas play. Score one for the cheese heads.
Will Boehner support the wily veteran or the upstart showboat?
The PiPress points out that when it comes to helping Republicans get elected, Bachmann is probably owed a favor or two. Her MichelePAC lavished campaign contributions on righties all over the country, and 35 of them are headed to Congress. (The other 10, not so much.)
At least she's got the Minnesota GOP delegation under control.