Will Wilkinson says that Michele Bachmann’s inexperience will be her undoing:
I agree Ms Bachmann projects an air of conservative authenticity, but I don’t think she’s poised to build on Mr Huckabee’s rather limited achievements. She lacks Mr Huckabee’s decade-long record of executive experience. I may be forced to eat my sneaker, but I insist experience matters to conservative primary voters.
He is still underestimating how well Bachmann will do in early caucus and primary contests, and I will go so far as to say that she will win more contests than Huckabee did in 2008. The voters for whom experience is important are already voting for Romney or one of the other ex-governors. Bachmann’s task is to rally most of the rest of the party behind her. What Huckabee lacked was funding and support from activists of all stripes. Huckabee had his record of executive experience, and that record (somewhat unfairly) earned him the undying hatred of many economic conservatives and interest groups. Bachmann’s lack of achievements is in some ways a blessing for her, because it is proof that she has never compromised. In today’s GOP, that is very valuable, and she doesn’t have many competitors in the race who can say the same. She begins her candidacy as a much more widely-known politician than Huckabee, and she also has the ability to raise funds that Huckabee could only have imagined.
That said, Wilkinson and I don’t disagree as much on this as it seems. Experience matters to more Republican primary voters than authenticity, ideological purity, or identity politics. It still matters to enough of them to make sure that Romney will almost certainly be the nominee. Bachmann’s candidacy offers dissatisfied conservatives with the opportunity to drag out that process for much longer than would otherwise be the case. The dreadful inevitability of Romney’s nomination seems more certain than ever.