Michele Bachmann Raises Expectations for the Next Debate

by Kathryn Jean Lopez

Stanley, you’re right, the media doesn’t know what to do with a pro-life conservative woman. And Bachmann took first control of that situation last night on CNN, taking away the first headline by announcing her official run, and making clear she is a woman of substance and experience.

But the next question, of course, is: Is she ready to be commander-in-chief? It’s the question people will ask about her, Tim Pawlenty, and everyone. Romney probably has the upper hand here, given his vast executive experience. And Bachmann doesn’t. She is not alone, of course. That’s an uphill climb for Rick Santorum, a former senator — but one who some successful experience working with other parties and presidents. Paul Ryan had to ask himself, “Do people really want to replace an inexperienced president with a member of the House?” in his own deliberations about a run. I’m not sure the answer is an enthusiastic “yes.”

She’s smart. And she knows she captures the enthusiasm of tea-party rallies like no one else on that stage last night. But that’s the question, isn’t it? Who is prepared to be the best commander-in-chief? Who can capture the confidence of a majority of American voters?