Desperate for a late lift in Iowa, Republican Michele Bachmann is increasingly stressing a distinction in the presidential field: She’s the only woman competing for the nomination.

The Minnesota congresswoman has made the gender card central to her closing argument. She’s urging voters to embrace the idea of a “strong woman in the White House” and is molding herself as “America’s Iron Lady” in the vein of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

It’s a play that carries as much risk as potential reward because some of the ardent religious conservatives she’s aggressively courting have traditional views about gender roles.

History is not on Bachmann’s side, either. Iowa has never elected a woman as governor or to its congressional delegation, a footnote shared only with Mississippi.

Continue reading on