Palin 5.0

Ezra Klein on the very real Michele Bachmann:


Bachmann is a better politician than Palin, a better policy wonk than Palin, and because she's a better politician and a better policy wonk than Palin, she's actually able to be a bit more extreme than Palin, as Palin rarely gets specific enough to do such precise ideological positioning. Put simply, Bachmann is the candidate Palin was supposed to be. 

 Incidentally, I don't put Palin and Bachmann into competition because they're the two women in the Republican field. I put them in competition because they're the two candidates who can plausibly consolidate the tea party wing of the GOP behind them. The only other obvious contender for that crown is Herman Cain, and I'm not ready to take him seriously yet. My hunch right now is that Palin either won't run or will seriously underperform expectations, and either way, Bachmann will quickly emerge as the acknowledged leader of Tea Party America.

II know there's a lot of talk about the "underwhelming" GOP field. I guess. If the economy continues you like this, and it looks like it will, it's going to be a tough race. I am scared. 
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Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

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