After showing a number of clips in the run up to the next segment where Michele Bachmann clearly showed she didn't have a lot of use for either facts or concern for flame throwing, the panel on The Chris Matthews Show pondered whether the now very "serious" and now "disciplined" Michele Bachmann somehow has her finger on the pulse of the Republican electorate in America.
What was amazing to me is that even after showing how off the cliff Bachmann is and that there is no way in hell she should be elected to lead this country, they pretty much calmly discussed how the Republican Party has gone off the rails, and without explaining just how dangerous someone like Bachmann would be should the American public actually turn out to be insane enough to elect her, and pondered whether Bachmann now represents the heart of the Republican Party.
I never thought I'd live see the day when our beltway Villagers were seriously discussing Michele Bachmann's potential road to the presidential nomination, but here we are.
MATTHEWS: Andrea, I hear something there that's powerful. It's connecting the regular people, the base of the country, the regular people and their sense of conservative history, their conservative view of history.
MITCHELL: I think you're actually right and there's a new PEW poll which says that people do not want to see their Medicare, Social Security, I mean, not surprisingly, they don't want to see their benefits cut, they don't want to see taxe increases. The majority of people in this country are not willing to do the things that John Boehner is now prepared apparently to do, that the President wants us to do, that leadership, arguably needs to do in order to get past this crisis.
Michele Bachmann really has her finger on that pulse. She's put up a new ad, her first ad in Iowa, which said I will not vote for a debt ceiling.
MATTHEWS: No matter what's on it.
MITCHELL: Exactly. And even if it has all of the cuts that the Republicans want. So she is taking it one step farther and I think that she is really in tune with the majority of the people, whether they understand the facts or not.
MATTHEWS: Okay, that's Iowa, the religious right and she may be perfectly, you know... perfect pitch, will that sell across the Republican base of the country? Can she compete for the nomination right to the end?
PAGE: I don't think so. She has all of the vulnerabilities of Barry Goldwater who got the nomination back in '64...
MATTHEWS: But he won the nomination.
PAGE: But he did because at that time the moderates were weak and they're weak now. That's her best shot because it's a shrunken party from what it used to be. But I think because of recent events a lot of the Republican moderates, the David Brooks type are going to be the ones to stand up and call a halt, but after South Carolina.
MATTHEWS: I wonder whether the cerebral writers like George Will and David Brooks, great people, are not really in tune with that base out there, is she?
WOODWARD: Well, that's right and this could be a flash in the pan and remember Mike Huckabee won the Iowa primary in 2008, Buchanan won the New Hampshire primary in 1996. So we'll just have to see, but I would go the conventional wisdom route on this. I think this all helps Romney. There's lots of debate. There's lots of pie throwing. She probably won't go in the history books. But again, you never know in American politics...
MATTHEWS: Jamie there's some spark there I hear. She seems to have the perfect pitch for some people in the country.
TARABAY: Well I think... I think there's something interesting about the fact that she's so categorical about it. She's yes or no. And for a lot of back and forth that we see in Washington, I think that must be very refreshing.
MATTHEWS: I think the purity tests that she passes, they're so crystal clear, I think there's a potential that there's been tectonic shifts in the Republican Party over the years, that places her more in the center of the real Republican heart than Mitt Romney, who I think still is seen as a moderate, and that party is not run by moderates.
MITCHELL: Well, it's the calendar that's in her favor. If you look at Iowa, to a certain extent New Hampshire, perhaps less though, but certainly South Carolina and then you go down to Florida. She's got that geography and calender in her favor.