First there was Donald Trump, then there was Herman Cain for a while, and now U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota is the fad of conservative Republicans -- and the media -- exasperated with the blandness of top-tier GOP candidates Mitt Romney and Tim Pawlenty. Bachmann may last longer than Trump or Cain -- she's the figurehead leader of the Tea Party Caucus in Congress -- but even if she wins the Iowa caucus next year, the congresswoman will not be the next president of the United States.
To put it bluntly, Rep. Bachmann lacks gravitas. The former tax lawyer and three-term congresswoman has had a very unspectacular legislative career in the U.S. House. She's better known for a series of constant gaffes that would make even Joe Biden blush than for any substantial legislative achievements.
Example: On Tuesday, while being questioned by ABC's George Stephanopoulos, Bachmann attempted to say that the founding fathers were anti-slavery activists. When pressed for proof, she cited John Quincy Adams, who was a child during the Revolutionary War.
One gets the idea that these gaffes will be more than a weekly event.
To be fair, there's a reason Bachmann, 55, has seemed to supplant Sarah Palin as the most powerful Republican woman in America. She's a passionate values conservative who says what she believes. She doesn't twist herself into ideological knots trying to be a conservative to some and a moderate to others, such as Romney. She's telegenic, attractive, focused and a disciplined campaigner. Also, she and her husband are admirable role models who have raised 23 foster children as well as five kids.
The problem remains, though, that there is no meat to Bachmann. She's 100 percent rhetoric. Her anger at President Barack Obama is not part of an effort to seek different policies to improve the country. Rather, it is a cynical device to avoid responsibility for real issues, such as how to curtail debt, provide promised entitlements, and avoid a financial disaster.
If Michele Bachmann somehow becomes the GOP nominee for president, she will make history by being the first presidential challenger in generations to lose to a president saddled with very high unemployment numbers.