FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
Michele Bachmann's dreams of being president are history. And so too is the possibility of the U.S. electing its first woman president - at least for another four years.
This was the second election in a row where a woman tried and failed to become president.
Hillary Clinton made a great run at it in 2008, but in the end lost the Democratic Party's nomination to Barack Obama.
When Clinton bowed out, she acknowledged she wasn't able to "shatter that highest, hardest glass ceiling" but noted that her supporters put about 18 million cracks in it. At the time, polls suggested Americans were more ready for a black president than a woman president.
Fast forward four years, and there were high expectations for Bachmann, at least in her birth state of Iowa.
Bachmann entered the race as a tea party favorite and became the first woman to win the Ames Straw Poll in August. Unfortunately for Bachmann, that was the high point of her campaign.
Here’s my question to you: What will it take for this country to elect a woman president?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Forget about the separation of church and state... there's reason to believe that religion might have a whole new meaning for the next occupant of the White House.
The Daily Beast reports that two of the Republican candidates for president - Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry - are "deeply associated" with a theocratic strain of Christian fundamentalism that's called Dominionism.
For those of you who haven't heard of it before, and I was one who hadn't - stand by cause this is "out there."
The Daily Beast writes how Dominionists believe that Christians have a God-given right to rule all earthly institutions. Dominionism finds its roots in a small fringe sect called Christian Reconstructionism. People who advocate replacing U.S. law with the laws of the Old Testament, including the death penalty for homosexuality and abortion. swell.
The Daily Beast reports that both Bachmann and Perry appear to have ties to groups that support Dominionism.
Bachmann appeared in a documentary for one of these groups called "truth in action ministries." Also, she often praises or cites different religious leaders connected to such beliefs.
As for Perry, there's a group called "the new apostolic reformation" that sees him as their ticket to power. They talk about "taking dominion over American society" and hope that Perry can claim the so-called "mountain" of government. This group was also involved in Perry's prayer vigil in Houston a couple of weeks ago.
Critics suggest the Daily Beast's examples show so-called Dominionist groups attaching to the candidates.
And the website Newsbusters - which claims to expose liberal media bias - says that the Daily Beast "went a few more steps off the deep end" by publishing this piece.
We've reached out to both campaigns for a response but haven't heard anything back yet.
Here’s my question to you: How much does it worry you if both Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry have ties to Dominionism?
The race for the Republican nomination for president is finally starting to get interesting.
Tt looks like it's shaping up to be a three-way race among Mitt Romney, Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann - whose campaign was fueled by her victory in the Iowa straw poll. Texas Congressman Ron Paul also remains a player following his strong second place finish in Iowa.
And now - the big question mark remains whether Sarah Palin will decide to make a go for it.
The half-term, dropout governor of Alaska managed to steal the spotlight in Iowa on Friday when she made a surprise visit to the state fair. Palin says she thinks there's "plenty of time" to jump in the race... and there's "plenty of room for more people."
Maybe so - but she said all that before Bachmann went on to win the straw poll.
It's worth pointing out that there's a lot of overlap between Bachmann and Palin supporters. Both charismatic women are tea party favorites who appeal to anti-Washington and Christian conservative voters.
And it's no small feat that Bachmann won the straw poll in Iowa, a key early voting state. The Iowa caucuses have been known to catapult politicians to the White House. Does Barack Obama ring a bell?
This all means that the clock is ticking for Palin to make up her mind. Working in her favor: Palin remains near the top of the pack in the polls... and she would be the best-known Republican in the field if she decides to do it.
Also - by waiting until the fall to jump in - Palin could spare herself months of media scrutiny and sparring with the other GOP candidates.
Here’s my question to you: Does Michele Bachmann's Iowa victory make it tougher for Sarah Palin to get into the race?
Michele Bachmann's on a roll. A new NBC-Wall Street Journal poll found the Minnesota congresswoman in second place among Republican candidates for president, behind only front-runner Mitt Romney. It's the second national poll to put her in second place, and she's come out on top of three of the four most recent polls of likely Iowa caucusgoers, too.
But her surge in the polls could be coming to a screeching halt. Online news site the Daily Caller reported Tuesday that Bachmann suffers from chronic, debilitating migraine headaches. At times, the migraines have been bad enough that she has had to be taken to a hospital to be treated for them. Three anonymous former aides to Bachmann who spoke to the Daily Caller recalled incidents where she couldn't work and missed House votes because of her condition. Another former staffer told Politico that it's common for Bachmann to retreat to her private office, close the door and shut the lights off – sometimes for hours – to wait for a migraine to pass.
From the campaign trail in South Carolina on Tuesday, Bachmann admitted that she does suffer from migraines and that she takes medication to treat them. But she downplayed the condition and said it does not interfere with her work. And, she said, the headaches have not interfered with her busy schedule as a candidate. But the race has only just begun.
On Wednesday, the Bachmann campaign released a note from her doctor acknowledging her migraines and saying that her overall general health is good.
The news is bad timing for Bachmann, who, despite making gains in polls recently, has been under fire from gay rights groups over her husband's Christian counseling business as well as the "marriage vow" agreement she signed. The agreement was written by a conservative group that opposes gay marriage. Social issues dog candidates on both sides of the aisle in any election, and some candidates are able to overcome them. But serious and potentially debilitating health issues are a different story. Ask Tom Eagleton.
Here’s my question to you: Should Michele Bachmann's health be an issue in the race for president?
Republican congresswoman Michele Bachmann of Minnesota has been a rising star of sorts in a lackluster field of GOP candidates who hope to challenge President Barack Obama in 2012. Bachmann came out on top in three separate polls of likely Iowa Republican voters last week.
But Bachmann is running into a lot of criticism for her rather extreme positions on some social issues. Let's begin with the gay community.
Michele Bachmann's husband, Marcus, runs a Christian counseling business. Former clients have said he encourages homosexual patients to try to change their sexual orientation or at least repress it. Critics call it "pray away the gay." In an interview last week with the Minnesota Star Tribune, Marcus Bachmann did not deny that he and other counselors at the clinic use that technique, but he said they only do so at the request of a patient.
Michele Bachmann has been skirting around her own views on homosexuality. But that party is about to come to an end. She recently signed something called "The Marriage Vow" written by a conservative group in Iowa. It's a vow to be faithful to your spouse. Fair enough. But the vow also condemns adultery, pornography and gay marriage. And it describes homosexuality as a choice. In a speech in 2004, Bachmann said that being "involved in the gay and lesbian lifestyle" amounts to "personal bondage, personal despair and personal enslavement."
Comedians and bloggers are having a field day with all of this of course.
On a more serious note, a group called the Human Rights Campaign - a gay rights group - is vowing to go after Ms. Bachmann and her beliefs in the upcoming campaign. They call Michele Bachmann "the very definition of a target rich environment." If they're serious, she could have a problem.
Here’s my question to you: When it comes to the gay community, is Michele Bachmann living in the Twilight Zone?
For a second straight day, a new poll of likely voters in the Iowa caucuses has Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann as the front-runner of the current field of GOP candidates.
She's big with Tea Party voters, running on smaller government, no new taxes, but she's come under criticism most recently by fellow Minnesotan and GOP hopeful Tim Pawlenty for not having much of a record on anything in Congress. She also has some strong views on social issues that will likely turn independents and more moderate Republicans off.
Last week Bachmann signed something called "The Marriage Vow" penned by a conservative group in Iowa. It's a vow to be faithful to one's spouse and to the Constitution. It condemns adultery, "quickie divorces," and pornography. It also describes homosexuality as a choice. And the initial draft suggested that life was better for black children under slavery because more African-American children are born out of wedlock now than they were back then. Lovely. That part was later edited out and the group claimed it was a misinterpretation.
Is someone who would sign a document like that really the best Republicans can do? Apparently a lot of voters in Iowa think so.
Then there's the question of who else may enter the race...specifically former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin who has been playing games with the media for months now. In this week's Newsweek cover story, Palin says she thinks she can be president. She made these comments following the premiere of a documentary produced by a conservative filmmaker highlighting all the positive aspects of her political career. It's not a long film. Palin also said that even if she's not the nominee - she's not even in the race yet - she thinks President Obama is beatable in 2012. Maybe so…but not by her or Michele Bachmann.
Here’s my question to you: Michele Bachmann's leading in Iowa and Sarah Palin thinks she can be president. Are the Republicans in trouble?
Jack Cafferty sounds off hourly on the Situation Room on the stories crossing his radar. Now, you can check in with Jack online to see what he's thinking and weigh in with your own comments online and on TV.
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