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Are Smart, Accomplished Conservative Women the New Crazy?

NewsWeek Cover on Michele Bachmann

Michele Bachmann is intense. This is not a new concept and not one that she is trying to hide. Just take a look at her background filled with professional and academic achievement.

In the spotlight, the Congresswoman continues to prove herself as a quick thinking, intellectual heavyweight with a resume to back up her rhetoric. So if you're judging her by these things alone, you may actually describe her as more than intense, but rather a force. This is what her supporters love most about her and what her liberal detractors fear most.

If the Editors at Newsweek were trying to make Michele Bachmann look crazy to influence voters in Iowa before Saturday’s straw poll, they were misinformed. As a young conservative woman, what I see and what I hope many women see in this image is a strong woman, high on restoring the American dream, who is ready for battle, even if the cover photo was chosen partly to validate Newsweek’s “Queen of Rage” headline.

What the mainstream media doesn't seem to grasp is that Bachmann’s intensity is what her supporters find appealing, especially when our president has made vacationing a higher priority than the needs of the American people. Everyone knows President Obama is cool, calm and collected under pressure. But so what? That hasn’t gotten us very far. You may have heard, we have received the first credit downgrade in U.S. history.

Although it would be easy to guess, I can’t say with certainty what motivated Newsweek to post such a raw and seemingly sexist image of Michele Bachmann on this week’s cover. Was it headline justification? Maybe. Was it fear coupled with disdain? Probably.

It’s no surprise that the photo gave left-leaning journalists the green light to mock Bachmann, likely an additional motivating factor for Newsweek. In fact, one journalist used the photo to take a swipe at Bachmann’s faith, writing, “It’s as if someone is dangling a treat (or maybe it’s a line of Scripture) to get her to look at the camera the way a photographer tries to get a kid to focus on class picture day.”

Yet, what Newsweek ended up publishing was a portrait of a real person, with real credibility and a threatening intensity staring them straight back in the face.

This will not be the last image of Michele Bachmann portrayed with crazy eyes and a half-smile. But it certainly begs the question: by today’s standards, are smart, powerful, accomplished women the new crazy?

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