Larry Jacobs weighs in on the potential consequences of Bachmann's comment on Hurricane Irene.
Jest or not, says Larry Jacobs, a political scientist at the University of Minnesota, the statement is divisive, reassuring current Bachmann supporters of her religious faith but winning her few new backers. "She's walking a fine line between stoking her base of support in face of a challenge from [Texas Gov.] Perry and maintaining credibility and building credibility," says Jacobs, who adds that the comment "feeds questions about whether she's serious enough to do the job" of being president. At this point, he says, she cannot simply hold on to her loyal base; she must build a coalition that goes beyond stalwart social conservatives and evangelical Christians.
August 29, 2011