Michele Bachmann’s new campaign theme stresses her ability to unite the GOP, bringing together Tea Party enthusiasts and Washington insiders. She’s right to emphasize unity as the only path to victory, but she won’t have an easy time bridging ideological gaps.
During the debt ceiling debate she broke with more than 95 percent of her Republican colleagues and voted against the sweeping Cut, Cap and Balance reform. On the final vote on the ultimate deal, she also voted no, defying three-fourths of her fellow Republicans. It’s true that her rivals, Mitt Romney and Rick Perry, largely ducked the debt ceiling fight and never backed the final deal, but they didn’t denounce it as harshly as Bachmann did. Many conservatives agree with her, but it’s hard to play a unifying role when you split with the vast majority of Congressional colleagues of your own party.