The new wave of female firebrands striking fear into liberal America

Right-wing radicals are already pinning presidential ambitions on a mother-of-five from Minnesota who calls herself a ‘fool for Christ’ and condemns Obama as a socialist at the head of a gangster regime

Paul Harris in New York
The Guardian [UK]
Sunday 15 November 2009

She is a striking brunette with a decidedly outspoken attitude. She lambasts President Barack Obama as a socialist and has become the darling of America’s right-wing activists who flock to her appearances. She is hated by liberals and loved by conservatives.

Sarah Palin? Not quite. Meet Michele Bachmann, a Republican congresswoman from Minnesota who is being hailed as a new and increasingly powerful voice in American politics.

Bachmann, at 53, is a darling of the so-called Tea Party movement, which has campaigned vociferously against healthcare reform, the economic stimulus package and legislation to combat climate change. Her followers have been behind mass rallies in Washington and smaller ones all over the country. She has emerged as one of the most visible politicians in America, frequently appearing on the conservative Fox News channel, whose hosts often champion her causes.

She is part of an increasingly visible “female brand” of conservatism that is rising in America in the wake of the election of Obama. They include notable syndicated commentators such as Michelle Malkin and Ann Coulter, whose dislike for liberals has grown ever more shrill in recent months. And, of course, Palin herself. She is still a giant of the political and media landscape and next week embarks on a book tour to sell her autobiography. It has already sparked a media frenzy, with a heavily hyped appearance on Oprah Winfrey’s show, and become a huge bestseller on pre-orders alone.

All these women express a mood of conservative discontent that is becoming increasingly vocal and, some experts warn, extreme.

Read the rest of this article at Britain’s Guardian.

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