Michele Bachmann was not a name well known outside of the United States until her televised performance with six other Republican hopefuls for the presidential nomination last night. A determined and focused woman who has been accused of not blinking enough, she turned the spotlight firmly towards herself by formally announcing her candidacy live on prime-time TV.
The steely congresswoman from Iowa who represents Minnesota’s 6th District, is a mother of five children and has been married to Marcus Bachmann since 1978. The couple own Bachmann & Associates, a Christian counselling company based in Lake Elmo and Burnsville, Minnesota. Michele was a tax lawyer for the Internal Revenue Service from 1988 until 1993 until she fell pregnant with her first child.
Bachmann realised she had distinct Republican political leaning whilst at college and raised her political profile thanks her pro-life stance in the early 1990’s. In 1991, she and approximately thirty other pro-life citizens went to a Ramsey County Board meeting, where $3 million was to be approved to build a morgue at St. Paul-Ramsey Medical Center (now called Regions Hospital). Among other procedures, the Medical Center performed abortions. Bachmann attended the meeting to protest against the use of tax dollars going to the hospital. Speaking to the Star Tribune, she said that “in effect, since 1973, I have been a landlord of an abortion clinic, and I don’t like that distinction”. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michele_Bachmann
In 2000, she was elected to the Minnesota Senate and then in 2003, to the House of Representatives. Her views are fairly right wing.
In 2003 she and fellow Republican Mary Liz Holberg proposed a constitutional amendment that would bar Minnesota from legally recognizing same-sex marriages.
After a visit to Pakistan in 2007, she rather oddly stated that the dangers posed by Islamic terrorism in Britain and Pakistan justified the continued American military presence in Iraq. See: http://www.sctimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070710/NEWS01/107090061/1009
Bachmann voted against the College Cost Reduction and Access Act. The act, would have reduced the cost of student loans be she disagreed with the principle, stating that “it fails students and taxpayers with gimmicks” [St. Cloud Times 12th June 2007].
She also believes that global warming is a hoax http://www.startribune.com/error/?id=44270817&path=%2Fpolitics%2Fstat and has called for the repeal of the recently passed Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. See: http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/rep-michele-bachmann-house-republicans-s
The self-styled leader of the right-wing Tea Party faction of the US Congress, she looks like an a woman who could rally the forces of conservatism around her, provided she can draw in some of the supporters of Sarah Palin [who looks positively liberal by comparison].
Suddenly, the race to see who becomes the Republican nominee for the 2012 Presidential election looks very interesting…