(CNN) - Michele Bachmann may be struggling in national polls, but the Republican presidential candidate has faced tougher obstacles – or so her new memoir strives to show.
“Core of Conviction,” released Monday, shows a resilient and conservative Midwesterner “called to serve” in the highest office. Bachmann describes her process of deciding to run as a largely spiritual one.
Programming note: GOP presidential candidates face off at 8 p.m. ET Tuesday, November 22, in the CNN Republican National Security Debate in Washington, D.C.
“As Proverbs tell us, we can make our own plans, but the Lord gives the right answer,” Bachmann writes. “Some politicos, of course, said that it was too late for me to announce, that other candidates had been running for months, even years, and were too far ahead in organization and fund-raising. Then I sensed an answer. I knew what I was being directed to do.”
Bachmann describes past defeats, including a local school board race, but spends an equal amount of space describing come-from-behind wins – something she’ll have to repeat if she hopes to become the 2012 GOP nominee.
During her re-election race in 2008, which Bachmann won by three points, the Minnesota congresswoman says she learned to play the hard-fought game of politics.
“From this close-call experience I learned some valuable lessons,” Bachmann writes. “As I have said, in politics I wanted to be able to disagree with opponents without being disagreeable or disrespectful. Yet in the stormy years to come, many more hardballs would come – they come with the territory of politics. But the 2008 campaign gave me an opportunity to learn to do better.”
The 2012 race, Bachmann writes, requires a “fresh effort” by Republicans to appeal to groups not traditionally included in conservative appeals.
“I believe that a conventional, play-it-safe campaign will ensure that America has to endure another four years of Barack Obama and his wrecking-crew policies,” Bachmann writes. “That is, if the Republican presidential nominee fails to energize key constituencies, or worse, if the nominee is seen as insincere, then we will lose.”
While there are few details of the 2012 campaign, Bachmann does describe her feeling when details of her migraines became public this summer.
She writes she was reluctant to cite sexism as a factor, but that “it appeared political foes were maybe playing the gender card. After all, at one time or another, all of us, both men and women, suffer pain and get sick.”
“Core of Conviction” also offers Bachmann’s own candid views of her political peers, including former Pres. George W. Bush (“eminently decent man”), former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (“charming and charismatic”) and House Majority Leader John Boehner (“reminded me of … the TV singer and movie star Dean Martin!”)
Bachmann also says she would have preferred if Hillary Clinton, a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008, had eventually become president rather than Obama, saying the former senator and first lady was “less leftist revolutionary than Obama,” and that if Sen. John McCain “couldn’t be in the mix I would have wanted Mrs. Clinton.”
Bachmann’s book also offers a glimpse into the candidate’s childhood, including the triumph of making her high school cheerleading squad, and the disappointment of not being invited to her senior prom.
Bachmann’s book is published by Sentinel, a conservative imprint of Penguin.