Our chapter of the Republican Jewish Coalition saluted retiring Sixth District Rep. Michele Bachmann this past Sunday night. Since her election to Congress in 2006 — she first spoke to us that December, before she took office — Michele has been our favorite speaker. By my count, this was at least her sixth appearance before us. No one else comes close. We are grateful for her heartfelt and eloquent support of Israel as well as her fearless opposition to our Islamist enemies at home and abroad. This event gave us an opportunity to express our appreciation.
A word about the Minnesota chapter of the RJC. It’s not a huge chapter. In Minnesota, we’re a minority of a minority. Under the leadership of chapter president Mark Miller, however, the chapter has grown from the 38 members at the time of our first event (former Senator Rudy Boschwitz was the speaker) to some 700 today. I would like to think that the growth of the chapter is a straw in the wind.
Rudy was in attendance Sunday night night and set the tone with his tribute to Michele, followed by remarks from GOP Senate candidate Mike McFadden and GOP congressional candidates Tom Emmer (who will win the election for the Sixth District seat Michele holds) and Torrey Westrom (facing off against Democratic incumbent Collin Peterson in the Seventh District). The strong turnout Sunday night also included several GOP members of the state legislature. The attendance of the candidates and state officials reflected well on the chapter.
In the photo below, Mark presents Michele a token of the RJC’s appreciation made of stone quarried from Israel. Mark spoke for all of us in paying tribute to Michele with his characteristic enthusiasm and genuine affection for her.
Michele was on fire in her remarks Sunday night. She said she had expected to speak for five minutes. In the event, she spoke without notes or a text for about 45 minutes. I hadn’t anticipated writing about the event and wasn’t taking notes myself. Speaking yesterday at the Values Voter conference (video below), however, Michele revisited some of the themes she elaborated in her remarks to our RJC chapter this past Sunday. In her future career outside Congress, Michele has a contribution to make, but watching the video you can see why we will miss her voice in that body.
Quotable quote: “Mr. Obama, Mrs. Clinton, we want our 1980’s foreign policy back: peace through strength.”