Michelle Bachmann has won the Ames Straw Poll in Iowa – an early indicator of who will lead the contest to become the Republican candidate for the US presidential elections in 2012. Ron Paul came a close second, though the famed poll of Republican sentiment was overshadowed by the announcement that Governor Rick Perry of Texas will also enter the race to become President.
The Ames Straw Poll takes place at the same time as the Iowa State Fair. Sarah Palin was in town along with a number of prominent Republicans hoping to catch a glimpse of the next president. The Governor of Minnesota, Tim Pawlenty, withdrew from the race following a disappointing third place in the poll. Bachmann was magnanimous following the bowing-out of her colleague:
“This morning I spoke with Governor Pawlenty to express my respect and admiration for him, and to wish him and his family well. Running for the presidency requires enormous self-sacrifice. Governor Pawlenty brought an important voice and ideas to the campaign, and he served the people of Minnesota and our country well. Our party and our country are better as a result of his service and commitment.”
Bachmann was elected to the House of Representative in 2006 after serving in the Minnesota State Senate since 2000. She was the first female politician from Minnesota to sit in the House of Representatives.
Meanwhile, Rick Perry showed up in Iowa to launch his Presidential campaign with a strong critique of the Obama administration’s economic policies and a promise of small government:
“We’re indignant about a government that borrows trillions of dollars because they don’t have the courage to say no. We’re indignant about failed stimulus plans that have prolonged our economic misery. We’re indignant that Iowa companies like Rockwell Collins, HNI Corporation and Heartland Express hit their 52-week low on this week’s stock market because of our president’s failed experiment in Keynesian economics.
“Mr. President, you can’t win the future by selling it off to foreign creditors.
“In reality, this is just the most recent downgrade. The fact is for nearly three years, President Obama has been downgrading American jobs, downgrading our standing in the world, downgrading our financial stability, downgrading confidence, and downgrading the hope of a better future for our children.
“I will work every day to make Washington, D.C. as inconsequential in your lives as I can, and free our families, small businesses and states from a burdensome and costly federal government so they can create, innovate and succeed.”
Mitt Romney, Jon Huntsman and Newt Gingrich skipped the poll in favour of canvassing elsewhere.