NEW ORLEANS, LA.—Four days after she officially became a candidate for the Republican nomination for President, Minnesota’s Rep. Michele Bachmann did nothing short of electrify the Southern Republican Leadership Conference here. Spicing her speech with quotes from Russian President Dmitry Medvedev about the free market and wondering why President Obama doesn’t say the same, vowing to make enough cuts in the budget “so that we’ll never have to raise the debt ceiling again,” and promising as President not to rest “until ObamaCare is repealed, “the three-term conservative lawmaker did nothing short of electrify the Replublican conclave of 2,000-plus.
Bachmann told HUMAN EVENTS she has “no idea” about the presidential ambitions of Sarah Palin. While the Minnesotan has taken out the necessary papers to file for President and now appears at all party debates and regional meetings, ’08 vice presidential nominee Palin continues to offer no clue as to whether she will run.
“We used to talk quite a bit and I have always considered [Palin] a friend, but I have no idea whether she will run,” Bachmann told us moments before taking to the stage to address the crowd. Asked whether the former Alaska governor should run or not, Bachmann said: “Sure. The race is wide open. Why not? She can run if she wants.”
Closing her remarks with a story from the Bible about King David, Bachmann hushed the audience and drew a prolonged ovation as she concluded. It took several minutes for her to get out of the ballroom at the Hilton Hotel as she was mobbed by well-wishers.
“I thought she gave an excellent speech,” said Louisiana GOP Chairman Roger Villere, who is neutral in the presidential contest. “She energized the crowd. I thought her facts and information were right on. I loved that quote from Medvedev!”
Phil Bryant, lieutenant governor of Mississippi and leading GOP candidate to succeed outgoing Gov. Haley Barbour, agreed. As he told us, “If you can use facts and figures well, as Haley taught me, you are ahead of the game.”