Why Michele Failed

Bachmann at the Iowa straw poll on Aug. 13 (Andrea Melendez/The Register)

At the Des Moines Register, a withering look at the failed presidential bid of Michele Bachmann, including nine reasons she failed. Here’s one:

1. Supporter cards remain shelved

At the straw poll, about 6,000 Iowans filled out Bachmann supporter cards with their contact information, an invaluable resource for galvanizing a base of activist caucusgoers.

But the trail went cold for eight weeks when the supporter cards sat in limbo at the national headquarters, said Kent Sorenson, her Iowa chairman until the last week of the campaign.

Rumblings of staff turnover, in both the state and national ranks, simmered after the straw poll. The national campaign aides demanded the cards be shipped to the D.C. office — an unspoken attempt to keep them from disappearing into another campaign.

But by early September, national campaign manager Ed Rollins and national deputy manager David Polyansky, two respected strategists, had left the team — with a parting reminder that those little cards, a campaign’s bread and butter, were languishing on a desk.

“We lost almost eight weeks of hot contacts,” Sorenson said. “People wanted to help, but this communicated that we were not interested in their help.”

The campaign had by August identified more than 30,000 Iowa supporters, but failed over the course of the summer to remain in contact with them.

Read the rest.


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  • EricG

    The stuff reported in number 5 is alarming – I didn’t realize such sexism is so openly practiced among some conservatives. Maybe I’m naive.

    I would also have liked to think that Iowans rejected her for her far right views, but it looked like the candidates were all pandering to the far right, which appeared to be a significant group among Republican Iowans. So I suppose that wasn’t a reason.

  • Greg Gorham

    I would have liked to have seen the article mention the shallowness of her speeches and performances. She essentially railed against Obamacare over and over again. It was a good argument initially for the voters she was targeting, but she never got beyond that one issue. Her original campaign manager I believe, Ed Rollins, has mentioned this. Once you had heard her initial spiel, you essentially had heard all she was offering in her whole campaign.

  • She put all of her eggs into the basket of Christian conservatism–a movement that openly opposes women in leadership roles over men. I’m not sure how Sarah Palin wiggled around that, or how Nikki Haley avoids it in SC. But, from a political perspective, Palin lost and Haley is coming across as an abject disaster in SC. Perhaps the religious right said, “Enough is enough of these uppity women!”

    The story of her campaign and the infighting reminds me a little too much of how things happen in the church. Maybe the church has drifted so far from its roots that it’s little more than a political machine, at least in some cases.

  • Drew

    As a “political operative” on the other side, this is simply inexcusable. Those should’ve been immediately disseminated to any field staff and volunteers, either by hand, an excel spread sheet, or their voter database. I think that #1 tops any of the other reasons listed, clearly, she had a poor operation and Iowa is all about moving people to the caucus and not letting them sit at home.

  • Chris

    As an Iowa Christian, this is the first I’ve heard of any Iowan saying they would have an issue with a woman president. Sure, maybe some guy with Rick Santorum sent out an email saying that, but that doesn’t mean all Iowa Christians are sexists. In the denomination I’m in, we have numerous female pastors in Iowa and I know many other Iowa churches that do.
    I’m not saying that there aren’t sexists in Iowa, especially among the “dear old saints”, but I can’t believe that it is as big of an issue as this article tries to make it look.

  • Steve Hansmann/East Central Minnesota

    Michelle lost, among republicans, not the majority sane public, because she finally exposed her husband to the public. Not to put too fine a point on this, but her husband, if not stereotypically gay, acts stereostypically gay, from the high and precious lisp, to the mincing walk and that he buys most of her clothes. Couple that with 25 foster children who were all girls, when boys outnumber girls two to three to one in the foster care system, and I believe the magical thinking wing of the republican party was so horrified she cratered overnight.