It was 90 degrees under a blazing sun when presidential candidate Michele Bachmann’s campaign bus drove into the landmark Beacon Drive-In restaurant parking lot in Spartanburg, South Carolina to the strains of Elvis Presley’s Promised Land1. A crowd of perhaps 300 supporters braved the heat to hear Bachmann’s 25-minute stump speech. I along with maybe a dozen press reporters were there to take pictures.
I suppose it was typical for a stump speech – filled with sound bites, but fuzzy on the details. There were two clear promises she made: the repeal of “Obamacare” in her first week as President and “there will be no teleprompters in the Bachmann White House.” Ending deficit spending is “easy,” just prioritize and cap spending.
The warmest reception from the crowd seemed to be for the repeal of “Obamacare,” but all of her points elicited applause including topics such as taxes being too high, creating jobs, support for religious liberty, support for Israel and opposition to: apologizing to other countries, abortion, assisted suicide, gay marriage and, most of all, making Barack Obama a ONE … TERM … PRESIDENT.
As The New Yorker article described, Bachmann touts her experience as a “former federal tax litigation attorney,” not mentioning she spent far more time with the St.
Louis I.R.S. office on maternity leave than she did litigating.
Bachmann used quite a bit of generalized language that I think everyone understood to refer to specific things. I wouldn’t accuse her of using “code words” except at one point when she mentioned that she sat on the House Select Committee on Intelligence and then said:
There is not a day that goes by, not a day that someone doesn’t wake up trying to figure out some way to kill people in the United States of America. It is sobering. And the second thing, the second thing that I know is that there isn’t a day that goes by that someone doesn’t wake up thinking how they can destroy the United States of America. Life changed 10 years ago on 911; it changed unfortunately forever. And as President of the United States I will assure you I will take off my politically correct glasses and look at the enemy and look at the threats that have faced the United States and take it on and call it out for what it is and hold to that challenge. [applause and cheers] And I will guarantee you that as President of the United States I will stand with our allies like Israel. And as President I would never call on Israel to draw back to indefensible 1967 boundaries. …
What politically incorrect thing is it that she is not saying? Given the strength of the applause and cheering at this point, I guess the crowd understood.
There was nothing even remotely hinting of “birther” in her speech, of which I have a recording, along with 150 photos.
1I suppose every Michele Bachmann appearance has to have an obligatory gaffe. After she greeted the crowd as Elvis Presley’s Promised Land was playing, she said “Let’s all say ‘Happy Birthday’ to Elvis Presley today! Happy Birthday. We played you a little bit of Promised Land when we pulled up. You can’t do better than Elvis Presley. We thought we’d celebrate his birthday as we get started celebrating Take Our Country Back Tour.”
August 16 is the 34th anniversary of Presley’s death, not his birth (January 8). The crowd cheered anyway.