Michele Bachmann, the Bill Clinton of the 21st Century?

As long-time friends and observers of Michele Bachmann, going back to the days when she was a lawyer/housewife in jeans and a tattered sweatshirt, we have repeatedly made several basic points about her: she is a powerful personality; she is immensely likable; she is the hardest-working person in politics; she is one of the best retail politicians in America. It hadn’t occurred to me to compare her to Bill Clinton, but Byron York, obviously somewhat awed, draws that analogy in The Examiner: “Bachmann’s political touch turns doubter into fan.”

To get a full sense of what an effective retail politician Bachmann is, you should read it all. An excerpt:

Bachmann was still holding Hoover’s hand and looking straight into his eyes; at that moment, every ounce of her considerable energy was devoted to making this one particular sale. “I’m 100 percent pro-life, I’m 100 percent pro-marriage, pro-family, I’m 100 percent on the Second Amendment,” she told Hoover. “Let’s get ‘er done right now, let’s make a decision right now. What do I need to do to convince you?”

Hoover still wouldn’t commit. But a few minutes later, after the rally ended and the blue bus pulled away, he was sold. He would “very likely” go to Ames, he said, and he would vote for Michele Bachmann. …

If the rally did nothing else, it proved that one man, all by his lonesome, didn’t stand a chance when faced with the Full Bachmann. …

Fellow politicians used to say of Bill Clinton that he would not be happy unless he had won over every doubter in a room. Sometimes he would devote an inordinate amount of time to the effort. Bachmann was a little like that in Atlantic on Monday. Most analyses of her success focus on her Tea Party politics and strong views. But there’s another reason she’s moving up in the polls here. She’s good.

She is, indeed. Still not my top candidate for president, but good.

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