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Baby Thief for President

July 1, 2011 permalink

US presidential candidate Michele Bachmann is treating her past as a foster mother to 23 children as a positive accomplishment. More recently, she has tugged on our heart strings with the revelation that she suffered a miscarriage. Two articles are enclosed below.

Bachmann preaches small government while earning a living collecting welfare cheques. She took in troubled cases, qualifying her for premium foster rates. There is not a hint in her politics that she recognizes that most foster children were stolen from their parents. How long will it be until the press turns up a tearful girl whining: "Social workers took me from mom and sent me to Michele Bachmann?"



Michele Bachmann

How 23 Foster Kids Led to Michele Bachmann’s Career in Politics

You could be forgiven for thinking that Michele Bachmann had already begun her campaign for the GOP nomination. She gave the buzziest performance in the most recent debate and preannounced that she was running for president. But she didn't announce that she had started to run for president: It doesn't count unless you say it! The Huffington Post reports that Bachmann will officially start referring to her activities as campaigning on Monday in Iowa.

Bachmann might have perfected the primary-season art of ginning up as many limelight-stealing pseudo-events as possible, but she's been strikingly attention-shy when it comes to her family life. Bachmann has often been lumped in with the rest of the post–Sarah Palin Mama Grizzlies, and not without reason: She happily presents her credentials as a mother of five and foster mom to 23, and the last couple of election cycles have shown that Republican voters find maternal narratives extremely compelling in female candidates. But in her campaign (sorry, precampaign), Bachmann has been more interested in playing up her professional background, especially the tax-attorney bit — after all, she's the tea party's candidate of choice. And unlike Sarah Palin, she's got a current full-time gig.

It was her role as a mother that helped get Bachmann into politics, the New York Times reports in the most detailed look yet at Bachmann's family life. Details on how exactly she handled 23 foster children, starting in 1992, remain murky; Minnesota allows foster-child records to be destroyed after seven years, and the names of her foster children have never been made public for privacy reasons. Bachmann and her husband, who runs a Christian counseling center, specifically wanted to take in "unwed mothers." The Bachmanns didn't end up doing so, but they did take in multiple girls with eating disorders. Because the couple took in particularly troubled cases, their house was designated as a treatment home, meaning they got slightly more money than usual for their work. (Today, the government hands out $47 per day for those who perform that service.)

Bachmann, who had home-schooled her own kids and eventually enrolled them in private Christian schools, sent one of her foster kids to New Heights School, a "back-to-basics" public charter school. Bachmann ended up joining the New Heights board, which was beset by controversy over its heavy Christian overtones. The Times reports that "some parents wanted a school 'based on godly principles,' while others contended that 'the idea to be as close to a Christian school and be public while taking public money is deceit.'"

Teachers complained that they could not teach about "'Native American spirituality' or even yoga, and that one who wanted to show the Disney movie 'Aladdin' was told she could not because it involved magic." Bachmann ended up leaving the school's board after "state and local school officials warned the school that it was at risk of losing its charter."

Several years later she began giving talks in church basements about education reform that were likened to tent revivals, and her political career, which as of Monday will include a run for the White House, was born.

Source: New York Magazine

Bachmann’s Views on Abortion Shaped by Miscarriage

Representative Michele Bachmann held a town-hall-style meeting at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C., on Wednesday night.
Emmanuel Parisse/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Representative Michele Bachmann’s personal story has become an important part of her campaign narrative: mother of five, foster parent to nearly two dozen.

But Mrs. Bachmann, a Republican congresswoman from Minnesota, surprised voters at a town-hall-style meeting in South Carolina on Wednesday by revealing that she had a miscarriage about two decades ago. It was an event, she said, that shaped her views about abortion.

“After our second child was born, we became pregnant with a third baby,” Mrs. Bachmann said on Wednesday night, as reported to Politico and others. “And it was an unexpected baby, but of course we were delighted to have this child. And the child was coming along, and we ended up losing that child. And it was devastating for both of us, as you can imagine if any of you have lost a child.”

She added: “When we lost that child, it changed us. And it changed us forever.”

Mrs. Bachmann is a vocal opponent of abortion, describing herself during a recent debate as “100 percent pro-life.”

Source: New York Times