Campaigning in South Carolina, Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann said a “devastating” miscarriage helped shape her pro-life views on abortion. The compelling personal story ties in to her rationale for becoming a foster care mom.
While on the campaign trail in Rock Hill, South Carolina, the Minnesota congresswoman revealed she had a miscarriage decades ago and that the event led her to solidify her pro-life views and prompted her and her husband to become a foster home to 23 children over the years.
“After our second child was born, we became pregnant with a third baby,” Bachmann said, according to a Politico report. “And it was an unexpected baby, but of course we were delighted to have this child. And the child was coming along, and we ended up losing that child. And it was devastating for both of us, as you can imagine if any of you have lost a child.”
She said the miscarriage also prompted Bachmann and her husband Marcus to re-evaluate their personal and professional life goals.
“At that moment we didn’t think of ourselves as overly career minded or overly materialistic,” she said, according to Politico. “When we lost that child, it changed us. And it changed us forever.”
“We made a commitment that no matter how many children were brought into our life, we would receive them because we are committed to life,” she added.
Reporters at the event say Bachmann shared it about halfway through her town hall at Winthrop University on Wednesday night. The miscarriage story is not one that Bachmann has shared much and Peter Hamby from CNN reports that “Even some of Bachmann’s staffers were caught by surprise when she talked about the miscarriage and had not heard [the] story before.”
This election is about big issues, not petty ones. When all is said and done, we cannot be about big government as usual. Then America will lose.
In Washington I am bringing a voice to the halls of congress that has been missing for a long time. It is the voice of the people I love and learned from growing up in Waterloo. It is the voice of reasonable, fair-minded people who love this country, who are patriotic, and who see the United States as the indispensable nation of the world.
My voice is part of a movement to take back our country, and now I want to take that voice to the White House. It is the voice of constitutional conservatives who want our government to do its job and not ours and who want our government to live within its means and not our children’s and grandchildren’s.
I am here in Waterloo, Iowa to announce today: We can win in 2012 and we will. Our voice has been growing louder and stronger. And it is made up of Americans from all walks of life like a three-legged stool. It’s the peace through strength Republicans, and I’m one of them, it’s fiscal conservatives, and I’m one of them, and it’s social conservatives, and I’m one of them. It’s the Tea Party movement and I’m one of them.
My friend Muddling over at the Muddling Towards Maturity blog notified me this morning that the Weekly Standard has posted the most detailed profile in on Michele Bachmann so far. I took at look at the article, and he’s right. There is a lot of new stuff here. Check out this excerpt, and if you like it, read the whole thing. I will put links to some of her other interviews and speeches at the bottom of this post.
Michele Amble was born on April 6, 1956, in Waterloo, Iowa, the second of four children and the only girl. Her childhood was modest. Her parents owned a small home and rented out the top floor for income. Her father was studying to be an engineer. When Michele was four, the family moved into a three-bedroom rambler. “It was probably lower middle class,” she said, “and then, as families do, we moved up to middle class.” She was baptized and raised in the Lutheran church.
The Ambles come from Norwegian immigrants who arrived in America in the middle of the nineteenth century. They trace their roots in Iowa back seven generations. They were Democrats. The one Republican Michele knew well as a child was her paternal grandmother, a devoted Wall Street Journal and Time magazine reader who, like her other grandparents, worked in a factory. David Amble, Michele’s father, was the first in the family to go to college.
When Michele was in elementary school, her father got a job designing ordnance at Honeywell. The work took the Ambles to Anoka, Minnesota, north of the Twin Cities. Then came a time of upheaval. Her parents divorced. Her father moved to California. Michele and her brothers remained in Minnesota with their mother, Jean. The family fell into poverty overnight. “My mom made about $4,800 a year,” Michele said. Jean was a bank teller.
Michele was 13 years old. She and her mother had a conversation. “My mom said, ‘One thing that can never be taken away from you is your education,’ ” Bachmann told me in a 2009 interview. If she worked hard in school, her mother went on, she’d have a foundation for life. Michele became a devoted student at Anoka High, graduating early. She was popular and was elected to the homecoming court in the fall and winter semesters. She was never queen, though. “I won Miss Congeniality once,” she said.
[…]When she returned to the States, Michele enrolled at a community college near Anoka. Money was tight. She’d often work three jobs—school bus driver, restaurant hostess, all sorts of things. The following summer she went to Alaska, where she worked for an uncle who lived in the Aleutian Islands. Alaska’s oil boom was just beginning, and geologists scoured the rocks for signs of petroleum. Michele tarred roofs, cleaned fish, washed dishes, and cooked meals. In Alaska she fell into conversation with a geologist who wanted to know her plans. Michele told him she didn’t want to go back to community college, and she also didn’t have any money. The geologist recommended Winona State University in the southeastern part of Minnesota, near the Mississippi River.
[…]It was at Winona State that Michele began to date Marcus Bachmann… Michele and Marcus married after graduating from college in 1978. They spent the next year working in Minnesota, Michele at the Buffalo County judge’s office, Marcus in social work. Then began the long juggling act of continuing their education while holding jobs and raising kids. The family moved to Tulsa, then Virginia Beach, for graduate school. By the time they wound up in Stillwater, Minnesota, in the late 1980s, the Bachmanns had a law degree from Oral Roberts (Michele), a master’s in tax law from William and Mary (Michele), a master’s in education and counseling from Regent University (Marcus), and a growing family.
Marcus went on to open two successful Christian counseling clinics. Bachmann worked as a federal tax attorney until the birth of her fourth child. She always had plenty to do. “We taught all of our children to read and write at home before we sent them to school, and we sent our biological children to Christian school,” she said.
The Bachmanns also opened their home to teenage girls with eating disorders. The maximum number of kids, biological and nonbiological, they had at one time was nine. There came a moment when “we found ourselves with a seventh grader, a first grader, a four-year-old, a two-year-old, and a nursing newborn,” Bachmann said, “and four foster children.” There were so many kids in the house the family applied for a group home license.
Bachmann was involved in all aspects of her children’s education. In the early 1990s, she joined the board of a Christian-influenced charter school in Stillwater. She left that position in 1993, but remained interested in civic life. She and Marcus were active in the pro-life movement. Curriculum reform, though, was the issue that eventually drove her into politics.
The article goes on to talk about her legislative initiatives and political accomplishments.
I just have to include this part about how she got her start, as an inspiration to all of my readers:
In April 2000, as the fight to overturn the Profile of Learning continued, Bachmann attended her local nominating convention for state senate. The incumbent, moderate Republican Gary Laidig, had 28 years’ experience. But he was increasingly out of step with the conservative families pouring into the St. Paul suburbs. As the convention began, Bachmann conversed with her fellow activists. Laidig had to go, they said. Someone suggested Bachmann run against him.
She didn’t know what to do. She was wearing jeans and tennis shoes and a sweatshirt with a hole in it. She’d had no business leaving the house that morning, she said.
But Bachmann went on stage and delivered a five minute speech on freedom. Then she sat down. “I’m sitting there, and I had to be neutral,” former Minnesota state GOP chairman Ron Eibensteiner told me in 2009. “But I’m thinking to myself, boy, would I love to have her run.” Laidig gave a speech, and the convention took a vote. Bachmann won a supermajority on the first ballot.
Shocked, Laidig decided to challenge her in a primary. Bachmann won handily. It was no mystery why. “She tells it like it is,” Minnesota GOP state chair Tony Sutton told me two years ago. “She doesn’t pull any punches. That’s why she has such a strong following.”
And I think this snapshot of Michele shows why we like her:
Whereas Palin makes emotional and cultural appeals to her supporters, Bachmann formulates an argument. She talks like a litigating attorney, and her speeches, op-eds, and interviews are littered with references to books and articles. Not all of her references are conservative. During our recent interview, Bachmann cited Lawrence Wright’s history of al Qaeda, The Looming Tower (“I love that book!”), to illustrate a point about the rise of radical Islam.
Just FYI, The Looming Tower is THE comprehensive assessment of Al Qaeda. We need a President who reads books like that, even if it is written by a liberal. She reads outside of the people who agree with her, so long as what they write is well-sourced and credible. And remember, Michele Bachmann reads re-known economist Ludwig Von Mises on the beach, when she’s on vacation! That’s pretty heavy reading.
You can take a look at the related posts below to learn more about Michele Bachmann.