I've gotten to know her a little better over the past ten years, and I have closely followed her career in the Minnesota legislature and in Congress. I nevertheless learned a lot about her from Matthew Continetti's illuminating Weekly Standard cover story on Michele. I learned from Continetti's article that there is even more to like and admire in Michele's personal story.
Michele is probably the most frequent guest and most popular speaker at our local chapter of the Republican Jewish Coalition. She first spoke at a meeting held in her honor the month after her election to Congress in 2006. She told the story of her going to work on a kibbutz in Israel during the summer after her graduation from high school in 1974. In his profile Continetti quotes Michele in great detail on that chapter of her life.
Hearing her discuss her knowledgeable appreciation of Israel had a strong impact on those of us in attendance that night. The first question she took asked her: "Has anyone talked to you about appearing on television to represent the Republicans?" Good question! In any event, Continetti quotes a mysteriously unnamed member of the local RJC chapter who testifies to the favorable impression she made on us that night.
Continetti shrewdly addresses the obvious comparison between Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann. Continetti is something of an expert on Palin, having explored the treatment she received upon her emergence into the national spotlight in The Persecution of Sarah Palin: How the Elite Media Tried to Bring Down a Rising Star.
Reading Continetti's article, I wonder if anyone can withstand the treatment that Michele will elicit from the media if she emerges as a serious player in the nomination process. If anyone can, Michele might. But can anyone?
Cross-posted at Power Line.