Her reaction to Saturday's interview in The Times shows her up to be either a deeply stupid or deeply duplicitous individual. After raising the 'I'm a mum and therefore better than Theresa May' flag, she backpedaled saying her words has been misrepresented. See for yourself:
I am sure Theresa will be really sad she doesn't have children so I don't want this to be 'Andrea has children, Theresa hasn't' because I think that would be really horrible but genuinely I feel that being a mum means you have a very real stake in the future of our country, a tangible stake. She possibly has nieces, nephews, lots of people, but I have children who are going to have children who will directly be a part of what happens next.This is the new "innovation" test driven by the Leave campaign: make an outrageous or controversial claim, and then immediately take it back. Here Leadsom is making an unpalatable pitch to the yellowing Tory grass roots who are a touch less reconstructed than Dave and friends, and then retracting it immediately. But it doesn't matter. She's made her I'm-thinking-what-you're-thinking wink to the shires, and that's what counted. Job done. What will be harder for her to weather are the claims about her "finessed" CV, the reports about her non-performance in her present role, and previous positions taken around equal marriage and the European Union.
Does Leadsom stand a chance with the membership? It's difficult to say. Despite attempts by some, including Arron Banks, to organise an entry job on the Tories and swing the result their rules ensure anyone joining now won't have a say on the leadership contest. The potential difficulty for Leadsom is the membership drift that took place under Dave. Her base are in UKIP, effectively. Another problem is the blue collar wing, best exemplified by Stephen Crabb's candidacy and represented in the House by the likes of Anna Soubry. As the most pragmatic and arguably least unhinged section of the Tories (Crabb's endorsement of "gay-curing" notwithstanding), May has moved quickly to scoop up this bootstraps vote, which she adds to the Westminster wonk set, the activists interested in winning elections and, crucially, the Tories' money men. Apart from the rump backward brigade at the bottom of the pile, it's difficult to see where a Leadsom vote is going to come from.
In many ways, Leadsom is a perfect candidate for the Tories. Inept, clueless, economical with the actualité, she condenses in her person the decadence of her party. This is a theme visited here plenty of times previously. The Tories are a decadent party because they are structurally dysfunctional from the standpoint of the interests they represent which, traditionally, is big business. By introducing policies that price Britain out of international education markets, or give infrastructure contracts to foreign powers, or taking money out of workers' pockets, and now withdrawing Britain from the European Union because UKIP threatened to grab a few thousand votes here and there, the Tories are proving the greatest threat to the continued health of British capitalism.
It is therefore apt someone as obviously unsuited as Leadsom should come forward as a serious contender for the party's leadership. Though she would differ from the decadence of Dave and Osborne in one respect - they were prepared to trash the country for perceived narrow Tory advantage within the party system. With Leadsom we'd be skirting the abyss on account of her ignorant whims.