Michele Bachmann's Kids Appear On The Campaign Trail
WASHINGTON -- Four of Rep. Michele Bachmann's (R-Minn.) five biological children joined the candidate and her husband, Marcus Bachmann, in Iowa on Tuesday, less than 12 hours before the state's first-in-the-nation Republican caucus.
The joint appearance marked a visible shift for team Bachmann, and reflects a new strategy in recent days of the congresswoman underscoring her gender in speeches and meetings with voters.
On Tuesday morning, Lucas, Harrison, Elisa and Caroline Bachmann all participated in an interview with their parents on CNN. Until now, Bachmann's children have been largely absent from the campaign trail. Elisa Bachmann said on camera that if more people knew how "normal" her mother is, "maybe they would change their view on her."
Reporters were also surprised to see Marcus Bachmann, whom media outlets noted in December was far less visible on the campaign trail this winter than he had been this summer and fall.
As far as families on the campaign trail are concerned, Bachmann is late to the party. Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich have all conducted multiple campaign appearances with their children, and Romney's sons have even filled in for the former Massachusetts governor at fundraisers and rallies.
More candidates' kids who have hit the campaign trail:
The Huntsman Girls
Former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman's three oldest daughters made a name for themselves by tweeting from the campaign trail using the <a href="http://twitter.com/Jon2012girls" target="_hplink">@jon2012girls</a> account in 2012. Liddy, Mary Anne and Abby, all in their mid-twenties, have steadily gained followers since the campaign. Huntsman's daughters have also done a slew of television interviews, and have produced a few campaign videos of their own--most notably, <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iOYVB2hc0HA" target="_hplink">a parody</a> of Herman Cain's infamous smoking ad.
Arizona Senator John McCain's daughter was a staple on the campaign circuit in 2008, often blogging about life on the trail. Meghan, who has been vocal on issues like same-sex marriage and abstinence-only education, hoped to help her father connect with the younger generation of voters. The 27-year-old has since parlayed her campaign season fame into a career as a political commentator. She writes a column for the Daily Beast, released a campaign memoir in 2010 and was recently hired as an MSNBC contributor.
The Romney Brothers
Former Massachusetts Governor Romney's five sons, who were a frequent sight on the campaign trail in 2008, have reemerged to support their father in his latest presidential bid. Oldest son Tagg has been giving interviews and <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/13/mitt-romneys-son-tagg-to-woo-young-gop-donors_n_1144965.html" target="_hplink">courting</a> young GOP donors, while middle child Josh meets with voters in Iowa. Craig, Mitt's youngest son, has also made a few appearances with his father.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), the son of libertarian Ron Paul, has been active in his father's latest presidential campaign. He often sends e-mails on behalf of the elder Paul, a congressman from Texas, and has made appearances on the trail to stump for his dad.
Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum's 20-year-old daughter--shown here during her father's unsuccessful re-election bid in 2006-- was a fixture on her dad's failed 2012 presidential run. Currently a student at the University of Dallas, Elizabeth took time off from her studies to meet with voters in Iowa, host events and give radio interviews.
In 2008, GOP Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin's family made a splash on the campaign trail. The former Alaska governor's five children--Track, Bristol, Willow, Piper, and Trig--often appeared at campaign events with their mom, even after news broke that teenage Bristol was pregnant.
Beau, Delaware's Attorney General, introduced his soon-to-be-VP dad Joe at the 2008 Democratic National Convention. His speech, which detailed the auto accident that killed his mother and sister, moved some delegates to tears.
Mike Huckabee's daughter, Sarah, took on a bigger role in her father's campaign than the usual routine of stump speeches and photo-ops. She acted as her dad's field director and top campaign adviser, and reportedly played an integral role in her dad's surprising Iowa caucus win.
Cate first started campaigning with her dad, a former Senator from North Carolina, while an undergrad at Princeton in 2004. During his 2008 campaign, she started making campaign stops on her own in key states like New Hampshire. After news of her father's affair broke, her role took a decidedly different turn as she stood by Edwards during his perp walk from a Winston-Salem courthouse.
The Bush Twins
The Bush Twins were notably absent on the trail in 2000, but became more publicly involved in George W. Bush's reelection campaign in 2004. They made appearances on their father's bus tour through swing states, and worked at the campaign's Arlington headquarters.
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