Since making her candidacy for President official earlier this week in Waterloo, Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann is back in Iowa for the Independence Day holiday weekend for a bus tour of our state.
This morning Congresswoman Bachmann held an event at the Bluebird Diner in Iowa City. It was not well publicized and I would have not known anything about it without a Facebook message from John Archer (soon to be announced GOP candidate for Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District). The 8AM event was not at the traditional breakfast spot in Iowa City, the Hamburg Inn. After all, it was Ronald Reagan who was the first candidate from either party to visit there during the caucus season of 1979, and it has become a tradition, a rite of passage if you will for all Presidential contenders since. But the Bluebird it was this morning.
After spending the night in Iowa City, Michele Bachmann, her husband, Marcus Bachmann and daughter arrived about 8:40 AM for the 8AM event. She worked the room masterfully, talking to everyone there, autographing whatever was presented and had a picture taken with everyone who asked. She was particularly attentive to the children and young people in the room and even posed with the wait staff at the Bluebird for a picture.
I met some other friends there who had new neighbors moving in this weekend. The parents of these neighbors were in town from New Jersey and when my friends told them that they were going to see Michele Bachmann this morning, they got directions and attended as well. They were the first people that she met as she descended from her campaign bus.
For about an hour and fifteen minutes, she visited, encouraged people to attend the Ames Straw Poll in August and by sitting down and eating breakfast with the owner, she gave the media, both local and national, enough for the obligatory photo ops. CNN broadcasted live, and I saw a young man with NBC credentials around his neck, Time magazine, the Cedar Rapids Gazette, along with our local ABC affiliate were in the press throng covering the event.
She gave no general address to the group as a whole and a little bit before 10AM headed out the door to her next stop in Cedar Rapids, for which I overheard one of her staffers say that they were going to be about 45 minutes late there as well.
Michele Bachmann has created quite a buzz in the time that she has served as a Congressman from suburban St. Paul and is a Tea Party favorite. She organized and established the Tea Party Caucus in the Congress. She is a social and fiscal conservative and there can be no question of her credentials in that regard. Congresswoman Bachmann is a genuine person, she looks at you straight on (well probably looking up at you, because she only appears to be about 5’ tall) with piercing blue eyes as if you and she are the only two people in the room. She was gracious and warm.
I would have liked to hear something from her today. With the debt ceiling negotiations going on in Washington it would have been a perfect time to take advantage of that to let the people who had gathered hear what she had to say about that.
The most amusing moment of the morning, was when she met a ‘seasoned citizen’, a local Republican activist whom I know well. He and his wife had arrived about 7:30 AM for the scheduled 8AM event. When he stood up to meet her, he said that he would like to give her some advice, “Be on time for your events” is what he told her. Good advice, John. I would agree.
Thank you, Congresswoman Bachmann for coming to Johnson County and stopping in Iowa City. In this liberal bastion, you will not garner a significant amount of support, but you get kudos from me for even making the effort. God speed in your travels this weekend.