We’ve heard about Rep. Michele Bachmann’s Iowa roots. We’ve listened to her tell the story about her accidental entrance into politics (which was somewhat more calculated than Bachmann makes it seem). We’ve been briefed about her reading list. And her crusade to ban same-sex marriage while in the Minnesota Legislature is well known.
But Bachmann’s 200-plus page book, Core of Conviction, which is out today, also mixes standard political memoir fodder with revealing tidbits about her childhood, her family, her moral, religious and political roots, and her first campaign for Congress.
For instance, there’s an interesting passage that describes how Bachmann’s husband, Marcus, handles counseling in his clinic; recently, Bachmann’s tactics have come under fire after ABC News reported that Bachmann’s clinic encourages homosexual patients to “re-orient” themselves through prayer.
Bachmann writes on page 91,
“The goal is not to shame, but to instruct, to counsel… Marcus might not immediately confront or condemn unacceptable behavior. Instead, he would remind his group that while everyone, at times, feels weaknesses and temptation, everyone can nevertheless feel strength through Jesus Christ.”
Here are five other things from Bachmann’s book that you may not already know about her:
1. After her parents divorced, Bachmann’s family became quite poor. As a result, Bachmann worked a number of jobs as a teenager, including regular babysitting gigs. Among the kids Bachmann looked after was a young Gretchen Carlson of FOX and Friends fame. The book includes a picture of the two in a swimming pool.
2. The book focuses quite a bit on Marcus, who has remained a relatively mysterious member of Bachmann’s political life, making few appearances and speeches. It’s widely known that the two met at Winona State University, but Bachmann’s given little detail about their courtship. Now we know that the two met in 1976 while supervising recess at a nearby elementary school and became fast friends.
But there wasn’t any romance until 1977, Bachmann writes when Marcus asked her over ice cream if she’d be “interested in a… more romantic relationship.”
3. Long before she entered politics, the Bachmanns were staunchly opposed to abortion. So committed to the movement that the duo helped young, single women through pregnancy; for instance, Bachmann assisted one woman through a child-birthing class and held another woman’s hand as she gave birth, she writes on page 47 of her book.
On page 57, Bachmann writes,
“Marcus and I decided we didn’t want to be pro-life in name only. We wanted to live our lives and our careers being fully and actively pro-life. So we began counseling single mothers, praying with them and helping them in any way we could. We volunteered to drive these expectant moms to crisis-pregnancy centers, where they could be offered a safe and saving alternative to abortion.”
4. In 1979, Bachmann enrolled in law school at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma. But she didn’t finish right away because Marcus wasn’t comfortable there. So, after Bachmann’s first year of school, the couple moved back to Minnesota. Four years later, the Bachmann family moved back to Oklahoma so Bachmann could finish her law degree.
5. During Bachmann’s first run for Congress, former President George W. Bush came to campaign for the up-and-coming conservative. Bachmann’s mother insisted that she wear pink gloves with the pink “deeply discounted after-Easter dress and jacket” Bachmann wore for the event.
She did, but the gloves don’t show up in pictures of the pair from later that day because, according to Bachmann, Bush suggested she ditch them.