What author wouldn’t cherish a plug of his book by an attractive, poised public speaker who really knows how to excite and inspire a crowd?
And we don’t mean President Barack Obama citing “The Defining Moment,” Jonathan Alter’s book on FDR. This was Rep. Michele Bachmann, revving up CPAC with a speech that wound up quoting, um, liberally from “We Still Hold These Truths,” Heritage scholar Matthew Spalding’s book on America’s founding principles.
The Minnesota Republican, as this clip shows, apparently likes how Spalding describes a very different defining moment: the choice Americans face between continuing down the road to centralized government and decline or the road back to limited government and greatness.
Bachmann, speaking Friday, not only gave props to Spalding by noting both his book’s title and his affiliation with Heritage. She then quoted two key anecdotes pulled from the book to illustrate what truths motivated men and women in 1776 to risk all in seeking independence from Great Britain.
When she was done, FrumForum.com’s live-blogger Tim Mak gave an A to the history lesson from “Professor Bachmann,” gushing:
Surprising amount of genuine feeling, passionate story-telling by Michele Bachmann, and on interesting topics. Given my low expectations going into the speech, I was actually impressed!”
Citing Spalding’s book, Bachmann also quoted a speech by Dr. Joseph Warren in Boston on March 6, 1775, in the aftermath of the Boston Massacre. The congresswoman found her four-word closing exhortation in Spalding’s excerpt from Warren:
Our country is in danger, but not to be despaired of. Our enemies are numerous and powerful; but we have many friends, determining to be free, and heaven and earth will aid the resolution. On you depend the fortunes of America. You are to decide the important question, on which rest the happiness and liberty of millions yet unborn. Act worthy of yourselves.”
The plug from Bachmann followed two other good notices for “We Still Hold These Truths” this month in major reviews in The Weekly Standard and National Review. Not to mention Spalding’s own piece in NR on the opening for conservatives created by the Left’s overreach.
Spalding, director of Heritage’s B. Kenneth Simon Center for American Studies, also spoke at CPAC on a panel that tackled the topic “Saving Freedom: Defending the Constitution.” His upcoming travel to talk about the resilience of founding principles includes a stop March 3 in Chapel Hill, N.C. He’ll help Heritage President Ed Feulner launch this organization’s 13th regional arm—the North Carolina Committee for Heritage.
Go here to see Bachmann’s entire speech, or the rest of her reading from the Spalding book (final seven minutes).