Michelle Bachmann (R. Minn.) was clearly seen as one of the winners of the New Hampshire GOP presidential debate on Monday night. Some background on Bachmann from The Beast's Michelle Goldberg.
Lots of politicians talk about a sinister homosexual agenda. Bachmann, who has made opposition to gay rights a cornerstone of her career, seems genuinely to believe in one.
On Monday, Bachmann didn't talk a lot about her religion. She didn't have to—she knows how to signal it in ways that go right over secular heads. In criticizing Obama's Libya policy, for example, she said, "We are the head and not the tail." The phrase comes from Deuteronomy 28:13: "The Lord will make you the head and not the tail." As Rachel Tabachnick has reported, it's often used in theocratic circles to explain why Christians have an obligation to rule.
Indeed, no other candidate in the race is so completely a product of the evangelical right as Bachmann; she could easily become the Christian conservative alternative to the comparatively moderate Mormon Mitt Romney. "Michele Bachmann's a complete package," says Ralph Reed, the former Christian Coalition wunderkind who now runs the Faith and Freedom Coalition.