NPR’s Linton Weeks emailed me last week to ask if I would contribute something to his series compiling “5 things you don’t know about…” the GOP presidential candidates. Weeks asked me if I had anything that might be of interest about Michele Bachmann, whom I have admired since I first saw her, speaking to a Twin Cities Republican women’s group that I also appeared before, in the summer of 2000. At the time she was running, successfully, for a seat in the Minnesota state senate.
When Michele ran for and then won her Sixth District congressional seat in 2006, our local chapter of the Republican Jewish Coalition held a celebratory meeting that Michele attended, chapter chairman Mark Miller presiding. She made a strong impression on us that night and has become a chapter favorite. My contribution to Weeks’s piece comes in fifth of “5 things you may not know about Michele Bachmann.”
5. She loves Israel. In December 2006, Bachmann made a presentation to the Minnesota chapter of the Republican Jewish Coalition at a celebration of her initial election to Congress. “I’m a member and I was there,” recalls longtime Bachmann observer Scott W. Johnson, a Minneapolis lawyer and contributor to the Power Line blog. “Following her graduation from high school, Rep. Bachmann spent the summer working on a kibbutz in Israel. That’s a claim I’ve never heard a gentile make. Her love of Israel is genuine and long-standing.”
I shared my recollection of Michele’s remarks that night with the Weekly Standard’s Matt Continetti. In his profile of Michele, Matt not only followed up with her on the subject, he also reported other items of interest you may not know about her.