Michele Bachmann needs Tim Tebow

  • Article by: JILL BURCUM , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 29, 2011 - 10:06 PM
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Republican Presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann o

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The sudden, high-profile defection of Michele Bachmann's Iowa campaign cochair to Ron Paul certainly raises viability questions about the Minnesota congresswoman's presidential bid.

 

But it also should prompt questions about the judgment of the cochair --Iowa state Sen. Kent Sorenson -- and by extension, broader questions about Paul's legion of Iowa supporters.

How much do they really know about Paul's stances on key issues?

Sorenson's explanation for his departure suggested that he views Paul, who is now an Iowa frontrunner, as the most conservative candidate with a shot at winning the nomination.

Aside from Sorenson's skin-deep support for Bachmann, you have to wonder about his conclusions that 1) Paul is one of the race's most authentic conservatives, and 2) that Paul has a shot at defeating Mitt Romney to become the GOP candidate.

Seriously?

Paul is the epitome of a political loose cannon. His stances on the Federal Reserve and the gold standard and his embrace of conspiracy theories scared the heck out of big-money donors and the Republican establishment even before the radioactive racist newsletters surfaced recently.

The RedState website, whose writers have unimpeachable conservative credentials, carried an item with this headline after one of the GOP debates in September: "Ron Paul is Crazy.''

I remember seeing that debate and thinking the same thing.

Paul's stances on illegal drugs, his opposition to the war in Iraq and his hands-off approach to the Iranian nuclear threat also make "conservative" a dubious label. Libertarian and contrarian, yes.

A conservative? On some issues. On other issues, he's just ... out there.

Sorenson's defection was the latest evidence of a campaign that has steadily imploded since its high point last summer, when Bachmann cruised to victory in the Ames straw poll.

It, along with the endorsement of Rick Santorum by one of Iowa's leading evangelicals last week, suggests that Iowa may be Bachmann's last presidential-campaign hurrah.

I've always told people never to underestimate the Minnesota congresswoman, but it's hard to see how she dramatically ratchets up her support between now and Jan. 3.

Could she get quarterback Tim Tebow to replace Sorenson? Just a thought, because a political miracle is what Bachmann needs.

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Jill Burcum is a Star Tribune editorial writer.

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