Huffpost Politics

Michele Bachmann Memoir: GOP Candidate Highlights Past Political Rebounds

Posted: Updated:
MICHELE BACHMANN MEMOIR 2012 CAMPAIGN
Republican presidential candidate U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) speaks during a forum on manufacturing November 1, 2011 at Vermeer Manufacturing in Pella, Iowa. Five of the Republican candidates, excluding Herman Cain and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney who declined to come, are slated to appear at the forum. (Photo by Steve Pope/Getty Images) | Getty Images

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Her GOP presidential bid in danger, Michele Bachmann describes in a new memoir two times where she thought a curtain had fallen on her political career, including an early election loss that made her swear off future campaigns.

Both stories end with a sudden rebound – something the Minnesota congresswoman could sorely use now as she fights to rescue her once-soaring campaign. Bachmann has gone from a top GOP contender as recently as August to a blip in most public opinion polls.

The 206-page book, "Core of Conviction," is set for official release Monday, six weeks before Iowa voters open the presidential nominating contest.

In it, Bachmann glowingly traces her path from childhood in an Iowa household just scraping by to an insurgent politician who rose in just a few years from neophyte to presidential hopeful.

But she sprinkles in speed bumps she hit on the way.

One came in 1999 when the stay-at-home-mom and "retired" tax lawyer decided to run for school board out of frustration over new state education standards. She aligned herself with four others hoping to shake up the Stillwater board, all of whom were campaign novices.

"What a mistake," Bachmann writes, noting they all lost. "It was a chastening experience, losing an election among your friends and neighbors is no fun. As a result I resolved not to risk embarrassing myself ever again."

Bachmann soon set that personal pledge aside. The next spring, she toppled a GOP incumbent she regarded as too moderate on her way to winning a seat in the Minnesota Senate. In the book, she dubs herself "the first Minnesota Tea Partier" after the 2000 win – a reference to the libertarian/conservative movement that sprung up years later that Bachmann became deeply identified with.

Bachmann's other near-miss came in 2008 when she was trying for a second term in Congress. She almost derailed herself by going on cable TV and questioning then-Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama's patriotism, urging the media to "do a penetrating expose" on elected officials to determine if they are "pro-America or anti-America."

Her Democratic opponent instantly saw a gusher of campaign cash, and Bachmann reveals her internal polling tumbled – a 13-point lead becoming a four-point deficit. Advisers were urging her to film a TV ad apologizing. Bachmann went part way, saying in an ad that she "may not always get my words right" and decided to reassure supporters she would stick by principles.

Bachmann narrowly hung on.

In the current campaign, she has struggled with comments deemed false or inflammatory. In September, she drew wide criticism for suggesting that a vaccine against the human papillomavirus, known as HPV, could cause mental retardation. Bachmann said then she was simply conveying the story of a concerned mother.

Bachmann doesn't get into the campaign gaffes in the book, but she indirectly acknowledges past missteps.

"I've learned the hard way at the national level that any erroneous statement will very quickly be magnified," she writes. "So, as someone who talks for a living, I've learned to check, double-check and triple-check my sources. And yet I still make a mistake or two!"

In her closing chapter, Bachmann said her key to victory is to not stray from her conservative principles.

"I believe that a conventional, play-it-safe campaign will ensure that America has to endure another four years of Barack Obama and his wrecking-crew policies," she writes. "That is, if the Republican presidential nominee fails to energize key constituencies, or worse, if the nominee is seen as insincere, then we will lose."

The book is being published by Sentinel, a conservative imprint of Penguin Group (USA).

Around the Web

PolitiFact | Michele Bachmann's file

Michele Bachmann accuses CBS News of 'media bias'

Bachmann book plays up her past political rebounds

Michele Bachmann: HPV Vaccine 'Ravages' Girls

Michele Bachmann Ad: Rivals Stray From Conservative View

 
  Obama Romney
Obama Romney
332 206
Obama leading
Obama won
Romney leading
Romney won
Popular Vote
33 out of 100 seats are up for election. 51 are needed for a majority.
Democrat leading
Democrat won
Holdover
Republican leading
Republican won
Democrats* Republicans
Current Senate 53 47
Seats gained or lost +2 -2
New Total 55 45
* Includes two independent senators expected to caucus with the Democrats: Angus King (Maine) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.).
All 435 seats are up for election. 218 are needed for a majority.
Democrat leading
Democrat won
Republican leading
Republican won
Democrats Republicans
Seats won 201 234
Click for Full Results
Register To Vote