Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell has been endorsed by Sheila Crump Johnson, co-founder of Black Entertainment Television.
Speaking about the endorsement, Johnson said, “Make no mistake, these are tough economic times for all Virginians. Unemployment is on the rise and families are struggling to stay in their homes. We need bold and innovative leadership to move our state forward and that’s why I’ve chosen to support Bob McDonnell for Governor. He has shown me that he has the right vision and the executive leadership skills that will guide Virginia through these challenging times. He understands that we have to help businesses in our state – both big and small – thrive so that we put Virginians back to work. I’m proud to endorse Bob McDonnell to be our next governor.”
ECM, Hot Air and Muddling alerted me this story in Runner’s World featuring Sarah Palin. I think Sarah Palin is getting a lot of interest from this article, and most because of the photos. But there is more to a political candidate than looks.
Introducing Michele Bachmann
Allow me to introduce you to someone who is even better than Sarah Palin: Congresswoman Michele Bachmann.
Congresswoman Bachmann is a leading advocate for tax reform, a staunch opponent of wasteful government spending, and a strong proponent of adherence to the Constitution, as intended by the Founding Fathers. She believes government has grown exponentially, with ObamaCare being the most recent example of its uninhibited growth. Congresswoman Bachmann wants government to make the kind of serious spending decisions that many families and small businesses have been forced to make. She is a champion of free markets and she believes in the vitality of the family as the first unit of government. She is also a defender of the unborn and staunchly stands for religious liberties.
Prior to serving in the U.S. Congress, Bachmann served in the Minnesota State Senate. She was elected to the Minnesota State Senate in 2000 where she championed the Taxpayers Bill of Rights. Before that, she spent five years as a federal tax litigation attorney, working on hundreds of civil and criminal cases. That experience solidified her strong support for efforts to simplify the Tax Code and reduce tax burdens on family and small business budgets. Congresswoman Bachmann also led the charge on education issues in Minnesota calling for the abolishment of Goals 2000 and the Profiles of Learning in its school. She recognized the need for quality schools and subsequently started a charter school for at-risk kids in Minnesota.
Congresswoman Bachmann sits on the Financial Services Committee (FSC) and the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. The FSC is tasked with oversight of numerous financial sectors including housing, real estate and banking. This gave the Congresswoman keen insight into the housing crisis and credit crunch, leading her to be a staunch opponent of the taxpayer-funded bailout of Wall Street and the Dodd-Frank legislation. Serving on the Intelligence Committee was a welcomed opportunity for Congresswoman Bachmann as she has consistently advocated peace through strength to ensure America’s national security. As a mother of five children and 23 foster children, she has a deep appreciation for that portion of the Oath of Office in which members of Congress vow to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.
In July 2010 Congresswoman Bachmann hosted the first Tea Party Caucus meeting because she saw the need for Tea Partiers to have a listening ear in Congress. She is seen as a champion of Tea Party values including the call for lower taxes, renewed focus on the Constitution and the need to shrink the size of government.
Michele Bachmann was a self-styled “education researcher” making a run for a Minnesota school board seat in 1999 when the question came up at a candidate forum: If elected, would she serve all four years?
Maybe not, she said.
Bachmann, now a three-term congresswoman and tea party favorite who may run for president in 2012, opened up about a confrontation she’d had with a state senator over Minnesota’s new school standards.
“I told him that if he’s not willing to be more responsive to the citizens, that I may have to run for his seat or find someone else who would do so,” she said, according to a newspaper account of the meeting.
Bachmann lost the school board race, but then knocked off the senator, a fellow Republican, just months later using the standards as her primary issue.
It was an early indicator of a recurring theme: Bachmann often wins by losing.
[…]The race would test her resilience because she would start far back. But as a little-known House member only a few years ago, Bachmann became hero of the conservative tea party movement in part by fighting losing battles with the GOP establishment. Her path to Congress was paved by failed efforts to pass a ban on gay marriage in the Minnesota Legislature.
“She is very good at turning lemons into lemonade all the time,” said Sal Russo, a California political consultant who came to know Bachmann through the tea party.
[…]From her first involvement in politics, the 55-year-old Bachmann has shown a determination to keep pressing forward and find opportunities, even when the way seemed blocked.
In the late 1990s, Bachmann was a stay-at-home mother of five in Stillwater, a scenic St. Croix River town east of St. Paul. Then she was drawn into a revolt over education standards.
[…]”People had been predicting her demise since Day One: ‘Oh, she’s a radical, she’s too far right, she’s too outspoken, she’s too inflammatory,'” Pulkrabek said. “The fact of the matter is, with the exception of the first race, she wins.”
Parlaying her school board defeat into a victorious legislative campaign, she moved to the state Senate and seized on a new issue.
Around Thanksgiving 2003, justices in Massachusetts ruled the commonwealth couldn’t prevent same-sex marriage. Bachmann hit the phones, reaching out to fellow conservatives about making sure gay marriage would stay illegal in Minnesota.
[…]Jeff Davis heard her public appeal through his car radio. Not politically involved at the time, Davis came to the Capitol and pledged to help Bachmann.
[…]”She’s an energizer. She influences people around her,” Davis said. The drive instantly elevated Bachmann’s political profile, he said. “It was a launch point.”
[…]Bachmann’s victory in that race brought her to the national stage and prompted a new focus on fiscal issues. She harnessed the outrage of the tea party, a fledgling political force inflamed by debates over government bailouts and a far-reaching health law pursued by President Barack Obama.
Her outspoken opposition did not stop the health law, but it got her much more television exposure and helped make her a face of the new resistance. In one Fox News interview, Bachmann urged viewers to flood Washington and “go up and down through the halls, find members of Congress, look at the whites of their eyes and say, ‘Don’t take away my health care.'”
Amy Kremer remembers seeing Bachmann’s television plea while on a Tea Party Express bus heading between rallies in Washington state. The next week, Kremer joined Bachmann in the nation’s capital for a big tea party protest.
“You can tell the ones who have the passion, the fire in the belly and are truly speaking from the heart. She’s one of those,” Kremer said. “That comes through.”
The article goes on to explain how Michele got to be a three-term Congresswoman in one of the most liberal states in the entire country.
As her politics changed, so did her faith. She attributes a turning point to watching Francis Schaeffer’s Christian worldview video series, How Should We Then Live? “In college I felt like in some ways my mind had been saved,” she said.
For Bachmann, who is a member of Salem Lutheran Church in Stillwater, Minn., being a Christian and a politician means fighting for compassion—individual compassion. “People confuse compassion with government being compassionate with other people’s money versus people being compassionate with their own money,” she said.
For the Bachmanns, opening their family’s home to teenage girls was a way to express their Christian faith and live out good economics. That didn’t mean it wasn’t challenging. At one point, Bachmann was nursing a newborn, juggling two toddlers, homeschooling two children, and overseeing four foster teenage girls. “I was so tired, I could hardly pick my head up off the pillow,” she admitted. These days, all of her foster children have moved on, but she still makes time for her mostly grown children, who range in age from 26 to 14.
…Bachmann says for her one thread ties all the day’s obligations together: “radical abandonment to God’s call.”
Bachmann: Right. We actually, this is a man-made, government-made disaster, this economic conundrum we’re in right now. We could see ourselves go forward next quarter already if we do a few things, if we would do this. If we would permanently zero out the capital gains tax for four years, so that we could let people know that for four years there would be zero capital gains tax. Take the business tax rate from the second highest in the world, 34%, and cut that down to 9% for a corporate tax rate, that would be bring in foreign investment and jobs back into the United States. Completely eliminate the death tax, completely eliminate the alternative minimum tax, and then I think that we need to bold on income tax. Scrap the income tax code, and put into place a tax system where everyone has to get in on the game.
Whether it’s through a national sales tax, or whether it’s through a flat tax, and my personal opinion, I’d love to see in our perfect world a flat tax rate that’s no more than 10% on any American on the federal level, and then that’s it. And then we would pull way back on our spending, including eliminating the federal department of education. We don’t need the federal department of education, that function needs to happen at the state level. And then we need to go through, dramatically change what government does, that we truly are a constitutional government acting under our enumerated powers, and then we do no more, because the number one duty of government is to protect the health and the safety of the American people, and we need to make sure that we focus on first things first.
And she is very pretty, just like Sarah Palin:
Let’s look at how she does in interviews.
First, Bret Baier spends some time with Michele going over her pluses and minuses as a candidate: (MP3 version here – 3 Mb)
Second, here is another interview with popular social conservative Mike Huckabee: (MP3 version here – 3 Mb)
You can learn more about Michele in the links below.
Fox News reports that the election was fraudulent, accoring to U.S. analysts: (H/T Hot Air)
U.S. analysts find it “not credible” that challenger Mir Hossein Mousavi would have lost the balloting in his hometown or that a third candidate, Mehdi Karoubi, would have received less than 1 percent of the total vote, a senior U.S. officials told FOX News.
Hot Air has tons of updates at the link above, and a video of the protest.
In the Iranian capital’s most serious unrest for 10 years, thousands of liberals who claimed the election had been rigged vented their fury in running battles with police.
They fought officers armed with batons and stun grenades, set fire to police vehicles and threw stones at government buildings.
I saw police in camouflage uniforms and black flak jackets respond by firing the grenades from motorcycles into a crowd that chanted “Down with the dictator” and denounced what it called a stolen election.
In a stand-off near the interior ministry, which oversaw the count, opposition supporters formed barricades of burning tyres, sending plumes of smoke over the city. Helmeted police chased protesters who became detached from the main group and beat them with truncheons.
Hot Air linked to this BBC video, in which protests cry for freedom are beaten by police: (H/T Hot Air)
The Obama administration would not describe the outcome as legitimate or illegitimate or deem a victory by Mousavi as necessarily better.
“We’re not going to characterize what would have been a better or worse scenario,” the official said. “We will deal with this as it is, not as we wish it to be.
And they also report on the Republican response, which is quite different:
“There appears to be pretty good evidence that this is a cooked election,” Rep. Dan Lungren, R-Calif., told FOX News. “And the most depressing thing for me is we were going to see whether in fact the true leaders of this country, the religious leaders, were going to allow for a real election to have an expression of the people.
Mousavi and Karrubi, the two “reformist” candidates in Friday’s “elections” are under house arrest, along with dozens of their followers;
“Reformist” journalists and activists have been rounded up and jailed;
Cell phones (including, after a day’s delay, international cell phones) have been blocked, access to internet has been filtered, facebook is unreachable, and you can’t tweet (can the silencing of Western reporters be far behind?);
In Tehran, student dormitories are surrounded by security forces.
The Obama administration is determined to press on with efforts to engage the Iranian government, senior officials said Saturday, despite misgivings about irregularities in the re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad…
Business as usual… just keep talking with them, and hope they will forgive us for all our misdeeds. There is not going to be a challenge to this coup from the White House… the Iranian people are on their own.
Gateway Pundit linked to some photos are here and here.
Centre-right parties have done well in elections to the European Parliament at the expense of the left, according to exit polls and initial results.
…Centre-left parties are projected to have lost almost a quarter of their seats, while the centre-right is only slightly down.…The BBC’s Jonny Dymond in Brussels says it looks as if the centre-right European People’s Party (EPP) will continue to hold power in the parliament.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s UMP trounced socialist opponents, while greens from the Europe-Ecologie party also made gains
German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s governing centre-right grouping lost ground but finished ahead of its rivals. The Social Democrats, Ms Merkel’s partners in the grand coalition, saw their worst election showing since World War II with just 20.8%
In Italy, Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s centre-right coalition is ahead of the socialist opposition, with between 39% and 43% of the vote, exit polls suggested. The Italian group may be the largest within the EPP
In the UK, the governing Labour Party is expecting a serious defeat, slipping to third place
Spain’s governing Socialists were slightly behind the opposition Popular Party, according to partial results
Poland’s governing centre-right Civic Platform has gained ground at the expense of the Eurosceptic Law and Justice Party
Early results show Portugal’s ruling Socialists dropped a massive 18 percentage points, losing out mainly to Greens and far-left parties
Labour is facing an historic defeat in European elections which have seen the BNP gain its first seat in Brussels.
Labour may dip below 20% of the popular vote in what deputy leader Harriet Harman called a “very dismal” night.
The party lost 12% of its vote in Wales, where they were beaten by the Tories for the first time since 1918.
The BNP win in Yorkshire and Humberside was branded a “sad day” by the Tories and Labour but the party said it was a blow against EU “dictatorship”.
With results starting to flow in, Labour looks on course to finish behind the UK Independence Party, which is currently on 17%, increasing pressure on Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who is facing calls from leading figures within his own party to stand down.
Labour has been beaten into fifth place behind the Greens in two English regions – the South-East and South-West.
The Conservatives on course to repeat their victory of 2004 with 27% of the vote, but without significantly increasing their share of the vote.
The Lib Dems are neck-and-neck with Labour on 16%.
And there are also local level elections in the UK, where the Conservatives gained over 10% from their already impressive showing in 2004.
In the English local elections held on Thursday the Conservatives got a projected 38% of the vote, the Lib Dems 28% and Labour 23%.
In the 2004 European elections the Conservatives won 26.7% of votes, Labour 22.6%, UKIP 16.1%, the Lib Dems 14.9%, the Greens 6.3% and the BNP 4.9%.
An anti-Syrian coalition defeated Hezbollah in Lebanon’s parliamentary election on Sunday in a blow to Syria and Iran and a boost to the United States.
…Lebanon’s rival camps are at odds over Hezbollah’s guerrilla force, which outguns the Lebanese army, and ties with Syria, which dominated Lebanon for three decades until 2005.
…The United States, which lists Hezbollah as a terrorist group, has linked future aid to Lebanon to the shape and policies of the next government. Hezbollah, which says it must keep its arms to deter Israel, is part of the outgoing cabinet.
The anti-Syrian coalition has enjoyed firm backing from many Western countries since the 2005 assassination of Hariri’s father Rafik al-Hariri.
The coalition took power in an election following Hariri’s killing, but struggled to govern in the face of a sometimes violent conflict with Hezbollah and its allies.