For the first time, former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin and Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) appeared side by side to the raucous approval of 10,000 supporters at an April 7 Minneapolis rally. While each took turns blasting Obama and congressional Democrats, Palin paused to praise Bachmann's repudiation of health-care reform and called her "inspiring." Fox News host Sean Hannity once put it another way, describing Bachmann as “the second-most-hated Republican woman in the country, second to Gov. Palin, which is a good position.” Could an alliance between the Republican stars form the "new face of the GOP"? (Watch Palin and Bachmann respond to speculaton that they'll make a presidential run)
Independents would reject a Palin-Bachmann ticket: "As world-changing summit meetings go," says Mike Madden in Salon, this didn't reach "the level of 'King Kong vs. Godzilla.'" Still, seeing the two women together, "you could almost start to worry" about their combined political power. Then they launched into their derisive rhetoric, and "reality intruded again": These two could never attract independents.
"Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann join forces"
The pair is already invigorating the GOP: Palin "is assuming a new role as ... a charismatic leader who summons the masses to battle," says Matthew Continetti in the Weekly Standard. And Bachmann's almost assured of re-election. "If you think Palin and Bachmann drive liberals crazy now," just wait until "Congress convenes in January 2011, when there will be dozens of Palins and Bachmanns ... heads will explode."
"Palin, Bachmann, and GOP enthusiasm"
Mitt Romney must be envious: I think "a clear strain of Republican feminism ... is growing in this country," says Michael Scherer in Time, a reaction "to the historic 2008 campaign of Hillary Clinton." For the first time, the GOP is "captive to the charisma of women leaders." The "old men of the party," including Tim Pawlenty and Mitt Romney, "would probably trade a kidney for this sort of enthusiasm."
"Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin stumpt together, the political universe quivers"
PREVIOUS OPINION BRIEFS ON THIS TOPIC:
• General Petraeus for president?
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- 7 language habits that reveal your age
- I hate Ayn Rand — but here's why my fellow conservatives love her
- The 11 worst fast food restaurants in America
- Here's the schedule very successful people follow every day
- 7 things the world's happiest people do every day
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- Why Peter Capaldi has a bigger challenge than any Doctor Who in history
- The weird obsession that's ruining the GOP
- The biggest lesson Obama failed to learn from Bush
- Britain has basically decriminalized internet piracy. The U.S. should, too.
Subscribe to the Week