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Posted at 01:33 PM ET, 05/31/2011

Palin v. Bachmann: Why certain stars should never dabble in politics


Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) demonstrated on “Good Morning America” today why my money’s on her if a battle erupts between her and Sarah Palin for Tea Party hearts in the race for the GOP nomination. Let me restate my firm belief that Palin will not run for president. She couldn’t possibly do what Bachmann did today.

For at least the third time this year, Bachmann submitted to an interview with ABC News’s George Stephanopoulus and answered questions like a pro. Again, I don’t agree with much of what she says, but Bachmann comes across as serious and focused on her mission. That is, running for the GOP nomination for president.

When asked if there was enough room for her and Palin in the race, Bachmann said, “There’s enough room for a lot of contenders.”And when she was asked what was the one thing that sets her apart from Palin, Bachmann was skillful. “I compare myself to Barack Obama and not to any of the other Republican candidates,” she said before saying she saw Palin as “a friend,” not as a competitor. “But my comparison is ultimately to Barack Obama. I created a successful company. I’m a tax litigation attorney. I’ve raised 28 children in my home. I’ve had a number of wide experiences that I bring to the table and that’s my comparison.” In 30 seconds, Bachmann gave her bio and a pithy rationale for why she would jump into the race for the nomination. If Palin had half the discipline Bachmann showed this morning, she’d be a compelling political force. But we all know Palin is about being a star, not a politician who allows herself to be held accountable for what she says.

Palin’s fellow Fox Newser Greta Van Susteren asked her if she could work with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). She said she could. But on the issue of compromise, Palin said she wouldn’t compromise her principles and that she would lay out from the very beginning what she stood for. Fine. But on a national level, Palin said, “I believe in the planks of the Republican Party platform” because “they are best for America.” For instance, “It’s all about respecting equality.” I’m not sure how that squares with the “values” of the 2008 Republican Party platform.

Because our children’s future is best preserved within the traditional understanding of marriage, we call for a constitutional amendment that fully protects marriage as a union of a man and a woman, so that judges cannot make other arrangements equivalent to it.

So, Palin is behind the times. She is to the right of a growing list of Republicans favoring marriage equality, including some members of the Bush and Cheney families. And she is willing to deny the children of same-sex couples the stability, respect and dignity that comes with their parents being married. According to the platform, civil unions (New Jersey) or domestic partnerships (California) wouldn’t be acceptable, either. That’s neither respect nor equality. With that answer, Palin highlighted why certain stars should never dabble in politics.

By  |  01:33 PM ET, 05/31/2011

 
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