HolyCoast: Bachmann and Perry Have Their First Heads-Up Battle in Iowa

Monday, August 15, 2011

Bachmann and Perry Have Their First Heads-Up Battle in Iowa

And according to Politico, Perry "schooled" Bachmann in her home state.  Take a look at this:
But the contrast that may lift Perry, and undermine Bachmann in their high stakes battle for Iowa had less to do with what they said than how they said it — and what they did before and after speaking.

Perry arrived early, as did former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum. The Texas governor let a media throng grow and dissolve before working his way across the room to sit at table after table, shake hand after hand, pose for photographs and listen politely to a windy Abraham Lincoln impersonator, paying respect to a state that expects candidates, no matter their fame, to be accessible.

But Bachmann campaigned like a celebrity. And the event highlighted the brittle, presidential-style cocoon that has become her campaign’s signature: a routine of late entries, unexplained absences, quick exits, sharp-elbowed handlers with matching lapel pins, and pre-selected questioners.

She camped out in her bus, parked on the street in front of a nearby Ramada Hotel, until it was time to take the stage. Even after a local official’s introduction, Bachmann was nowhere to be found. It was not until a second staffer assured her that the lighting had been changed and a second introduction piped over the loudspeakers that she entered the former dance hall here. By the time she made her big entrance to bright lights and blaring music, the crowd seemed puzzled.
There's more at the link. In a state like Iowa which considers pressing the flesh with presidential candidates a right and not a privilege, Bachmann stumbled pretty badly. Perry is obviously a pro at retail politics, and that will make a big difference in Iowa and New Hampshire. Early wins in either of those states could propel Perry to the nomination and end the race pretty early.

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