CEDAR RAPIDS – Michele Bachmann calls herself an “accidental politician,” someone who never dreamed of being in the White House, but someone who finds herself on the presidential campaign trail as a result of her core convictions that began to take shape during her childhood years in Iowa.
“I think what people will learn is that really was the foundation that helped launch me to do the things that I’ve done,” Bachmann said Nov. 21 about her book, “Core of Conviction: My Story,” which she will be promoting during a visit to Barnes & Noble in Cedar Rapids Nov. 26. “We had a lot of adversity that we had to overcome, but it was the core foundational principles that helped me overcome those obstacles, to be able to continue to be able to move.”
The Minnesota congresswoman who entered the race for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination back in June will be in Eastern Iowa this week to promote the book, which has been published by Sentinel, a conservative imprint of Penguin Group USA.
The purpose of the 206-page book, complete with childhood pictures, is to explain to people who she is, Bachmann said from a car in New York City where she had just completed a television interview.
It provides an opportunity outside the campaign to “speak to people directly, in an unfiltered manner, so they get a 3-D picture about who I am and what my background is,” she said.
Bachmann begins by telling the story of her “accidental” entry into politics while her husband, Marcus, and their children were off attending a wedding. At a state senate nominating convention she challenges a 30-year incumbent to register dissatisfaction with his performance. She won the nomination on the first ballot.
In the second chapter, “From the Sogne Fjord to Waterloo,” Bachmann traces the development of her core principles to her early years in northeast Iowa and the time spent with her extended family, especially her grandmothers.
“So much of what forms my core convictions has been based upon my time growing up in Iowa and the values I learned there,” Bachmann said. “Ultimately, it’s really about faith. My family in Waterloo taught me faith in God.”
From there, “Core of Conviction” follows her college years and marriage and family life as well as her political career before winding up with chapters on the tea party and “Called to Serve: Seeking the Presidency.”
But “it’s not a campaign speech” Bachmann said. “It’s my life story,”
It’s her core of conviction that sets her apart from the GOP presidential field, Bachmann said. She relates her disappointment in many politicians, starting with a chapter “Jimmy Carter and Me,” as well as Republicans including President George W. Bush and Sen. John McCain for their support for the Wall Street bailout.
What sets her apart, Bachmann said, “I have been a consistent conservative though my life. I don’t change.”
That doesn’t mean she can’t work with people who she believes have not been consistent conservatives.
“No one ever gets 100 percent of what they want,” she said. “But there is a difference between that and actually compromising on core principles over and over and over again.”
Bachmann’s quick to add that she’s not saying she’s better than other politicians.
“But I am exactly who I say I am. There are no surprises with me. What you see is what you get with me,” Bachmann declared. “That’s what I want people to know. I have a core set of convictions and I’ve lived those convictions and acted on those convictions.”
Bachmann’s complete Iowa schedule is:
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