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Bachmann's Challenge to Romney

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

A new Rasmussen poll shows that following the Republican debate in New Hampshire, Michele Bachmann catapulted into the number two slot as a prospective nominee behind Mitt Romney.

Bachmann’s performance at the debate, her national debut as a presidential candidate, may well be seen as “A Star is Born.”

She was clear, focused, principled, and beautiful and became a focal point of excitement and surprise regarding her potential as a new Republican leader and star.

Many see Governor Romney as a formidable and impressive man.  And much of conventional wisdom – considering his experience, organization, money, capability, and presidential persona – says that the Republican nomination is his to lose.

But, these are not conventional times.

Similar conventional reasoning assumed that Hillary Clinton, and not a young black man who had not completed even one term in the US Senate, would capture the Democrats’ nomination in 2008.

Barack Obama achieved the unimaginable by tapping into general dissatisfaction with the status quo, a sense among voters that what is wrong with America reflects business as usual in Washington, and inherent American idealism.

Three years later, these same voter sentiments are still there.  But now many who jumped on the Obama train understand that he was just slick, new packaging for old big government liberalism. 

Three years later, with 9% unemployment and no signs of recovery, it’s clear to even those not inclined to ideology that this is not the change they had in mind.

Only 20 percent of Americans, in latest Gallup polling, are satisfied with the way things are going in the country.

Only 44 percent believe that today’s youth in America will grow up to have better lives than their parents.  This is the most pessimistic recording ever of this sentiment.

Sadly, our nation today is a ship lost at sea.  We are in dismal shape.  And we are not going to recover until we come to terms with this fact.

Look at Greece.  The country is bankrupt due to misguided welfare state policies.  Undisciplined government spending fueled by the lie that government can solve all of life’s problems for its citizens has now hit the wall of reality, as the well has run dry.

Citizens have taken to the streets because they can’t believe it’s true.  Surely there must be an infinite source of funds to finance everything they want.

Unfortunately, too many Americans refuse to let go of similar illusions that these Greeks cling to today.  We need leadership that can articulate the truth and lead our nation into a new time in which we literally re-invent ourselves. 

Last month, the Wall Street Journal ran an editorial that captured the problem with Mitt Romney providing this kind of leadership.

The health care system he set up in Massachusetts is a disaster and it is the model for the disaster that is about to occur to our whole country in the form of Obamacare.  Yet Governor Romney refuses to admit he was wrong. 

The Journal concludes with the following:  “Presidents lead by offering a vision for the country rooted in certain principles, not by promising a technocracy…the debate over Obamacare and the larger entitlement state may be the central question of the 2012 election.  On that question, Mr. Romney is compromised and not credible.”

Michele Bachmann quickly emerged as a leader from the day she arrived in Washington in 2007.  She has unapologetically fought every expansion of government – from TARP to the stimulus to auto company bailouts to Obamacare.  She captures the sentiments of the Tea Party movement to restore the principles of freedom that made America unique and great and our only alternative for becoming great again.

Americaneeds an inspired and principled leader today, not a manager.  I think Michele Bachmann may be the surprise of 2012.

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