ST. PAUL, Minn. — For Michele Bachmann, the laugh line doubled as a clear message that she thinks she’s ready for the rough-and-tumble of presidential politics.
“I had three brothers, no sisters – the best preparation for politics any girl could ever have,” the tea party favorite and three-term Minnesota congresswoman told a crowd in Waterloo, Iowa, on the eve of her campaign kickoff.
So far, however, Bachmann’s current opponents – all men – are treading lightly, seemingly sensitive both to offending her tea party supporters and to gender concerns.
She’s risen in polls in the lead-off caucus state of Iowa and elsewhere since entering the race last month. Surveys show her challenging the front-runner, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, in Iowa, and well ahead of former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty.
It’s clear that she’s becoming a threat and that her rivals aren’t sure how to derail her without risking a backlash.
Take Pawlenty, who’s suddenly in her shadow.
When one of Pawlenty’s advisers mentioned Bachmann’s “sex appeal” as a political asset, his campaign rushed out an apology and the candidate distanced himself from a remark that some interpreted as sexist.
“It’s not an appropriate criteria for evaluating a candidate,” Pawlenty said.
Last week, he told The Associated Press while campaigning in Iowa that he had no immediate plans to criticize Bachmann as he has Romney.
"They called Goodluck Jonathan, who gave you YouWIN and SURE-P, and PRESSID Scholarships clueless. So what do we call APC that gives you wheelbarrow? They said GEJ was tribalistic yet his NSA, CDS, IGP, CNS, CGP and minister of defense were from the North. So what do we say of President Muhammadu Buhari whose DG DSS is from his own hometown and whose Minister of Defense, Chief of Army Staff, Chief of Air Staff, NSA, IGP, CGP, CGI, CGP are all from his Northern Region? You see, no matter how far falsehood has travelled, it must eventually be overtaken by truth!"
-Reno Omokri(aide to Ex-President Goodluck Jonathan)
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