Former Bachmann Chief Of Staff: She’s Not Ready To Be President

The day after her big announcement in Iowa,  Ron Carey, a former Chief of Staff to Michele Bachman and former head of the Minnesota Republican Party, has an Op-Ed in the Des Moines Register, Iowa’s largest and most influential newspaper, saying that she isn’t ready to be President:

As the former chairman of the Minnesota Republican Party during the tenure of Gov. Tim Pawlenty, as well as the former chief of staff to U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, I have watched both candidates from behind the public scene. I’ve seen how they handle the pressures of the job; I’ve seen how they lead a staff; and I’ve seen how they would govern if elected to the most powerful office in the world.

Having seen the two of them, up close and over a long period of time, it is clear to me that while Tim Pawlenty possesses the judgment, the demeanor, and the readiness to serve as president, Michele Bachmann decidedly does not.

The Bachmann campaign and congressional offices I inherited were wildly out of control. Stacks upon stacks of unopened contributions filled the campaign office while thousands of communications from citizens waited for an answer. If she is unable, or unwilling, to handle the basic duties of a campaign or congressional office, how could she possibly manage the magnitude of the presidency?


It would be easy to support my former boss and even easier to sit by and watch from the sidelines, but the stakes are too great. Our party is too important to entrust its nomination to a candidate not seasoned and ready to lead. Conservatives rightly state that our current president appears unprepared and inexperienced when facing difficult challenges. Let’s not make the same mistake again.I find myself agreeing with Tim Pawlenty and Michele Bachmann on 99 percent of the issues, but the similarities end there. We need to look at the experience and accomplishments of the candidates and make sure we support someone who can not only defeat President Obama, but someone who also has the proven experience and leadership to handle the difficult challenges of the presidency.

Carey is clearly a Pawlenty backer,  but nonetheless it’s hard to understate the impact of something like this. The negative ads pretty much write themselves, don’t they?

No comment yet from the Bachmann campaign, if there is one I’ll post it in an update.


FILED UNDER: 2012 Election, The Presidency, US Politics, , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. mattb says:

    While many knee-jerk populist conservatives will probably use this as proof of the left’s “Palinization” of Bachmann, I think this is rather the first shot of a Republican effort to impede her forward progress.

    What will be interesting to watch is how this plays in popular(ist) Conservative Media. In 2008, Limbaugh threw his support with Romney against the populist Huckabee. I suspect that for a variety of reasons, he, Beck, and Hannity among others are going to end up backing Bachmann (in part because they’ve been so strongly pushing her brand for years).

    There’s a good chance that — barring a major shakeup (i.e. Perry entering the race) — there may be a particularly bloody primary for Republicans (something that will most likely aide Obama).

  2. James Joyner says:

    @mattb: An even simpler explanation is that Carey is a Pawlenty supporter and thinks he needs to knock her out to give his guy a chance.

  3. mattb says:

    @JJ: Agreed.

    Reviewing what I wrote, I realize that it suggests a “vast right-wing conspiracy,” which wasn’t my intention.

    That said, I suspect that we will come to use this as a marker for the beginning of an ongoing (though not necessarily organized) effort by “traditional GOPers” to derail Bachmann’s progress.

  4. narciso says:

    Well we’ve seen similar instances, say with Larry Persilly, who was well rewarded for his innuendo against Palin, by being made chief of the agency that supervises the Alaskan pipeline, or Kim Elton, who ended up point person on Alaskan affairs at Interior, in return
    for the ‘Tasergate’ complaint.

  5. MarkedMan says:

    narciso, who exactly did the “rewarding” and what was their motive?

  6. narciso says:

    The Obama Admininstration,

  7. sam says:

    “Well we’ve seen similar instances, say with Larry Persilly, who was well rewarded for his innuendo against Palin, blah, blah, blah.”

    And so? Let me rephrase. So what? And your response is?

  8. michael reynolds says:

    Does no one else understand that we need a Republican candidate named Goode? So that he can pick Pawlenty as his Veep? And we can have the Goode and Pawlenty ticket?

    Am I alone here?


  9. mattb says:

    @MR – Personally I’m hoping for an upstart tea partier named “Turner” — so we can take Bachmann/Turner and let them go into Overdrive! Then we can be sure that when it comes to taking care of business, we ain’t seen nothing yet.

    Ok… now I’m consigned to comedy hell.