Gaffe-ing It Up

From THE FIX at The Washington Post:

On Thursday night, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) told Fox News that she hasn’t “had a gaffe or something that I’ve done that has caused me to fall in the polls.”

The idea that Bachmann hasn’t made any gaffes in her roller-coaster campaign for the 2012 presidential nomination is far-fetched at best. But in a sense, Bachmann is right. Her fall had (almost) everything to do with Texas Gov. Rick Perry and (almost) nothing to do with her misstatements.

cartoonlaffs bachmann and boehner

Original comic book cover

Bachmann repeatedly, incorrectly said that the Revolutionary War began in New Hampshire rather than Massachusetts. She praised Waterloo, Iowa as the birthplace of John Wayne — it was actually John Wayne Gacy, the serial killer. She wished Elvis a happy birthday on the anniversary of his death. She claimed, with no evidence, that the HPV vaccine can cause autism.


So Bachmann is gaffe-prone. But that was true when the Minnesota lawmaker rose in polls, and it was correct when she her campaign collapsed. The most damning of her slip-ups, the vaccine claim, came after Bachmann had sunk in surveys

Unlike Perry, whose poll erosion came in the wake of several bad debate performances, Bachmann was gaffe-ing when she was up in polls and gaffe-ing when she was down.

Over the summer, Bachmann was the most viable conservative in a weak field of challengers to former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.


She was already known for getting her facts wrong, but some voters were willing to overlook that — at least temporarily.

Bachmann never had the capacity to expand her appeal far beyond where it was — polling suggested that her numbers only went down as she became better-known. As soon as Perry entered the race, conservatives saw a better option and Bachmann’s brief moment in the sun was over.


Her then-campaign manager, Ed Rollins, soon quit and later said the organization was a “mess.” Bachmann’s New Hampshire staff soon followed, calling the national campaign “rude, unprofessional, dishonest, and at times cruel.”

So Bachmann has made more than her share of gaffes in her campaign so far. But there’s no real evidence that they torpedoed her race. Bad strategy, tactics and a narrow base have been far more problematic in causing the sudden free-fall of a candidacy that never recovered.


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30 responses to “Gaffe-ing It Up

  1. yeah, i’m late again, kids. had something totally different picked out and changed my mind at the last minute.

  2. You’ve got it all wrong. Michelle isn’t dumb. She isn’t prone to gaffes. She gets migraines. Here, this will explain it to you:

    Yes, I know. Terribly crass. But sometimes, the truth MUST come out.

    • as much as i enjoyed your post on the subject, i am still not convince that botox batshit bachmann gets headaches. i still think she’s just a carrier. 😉

  3. elizabeth3hersh

    Wait a minute! I thought for sure you would do a post today on Cain’s claim that the Taliban are taking over Libya’s government (woke my daughter up at 5:30am laughing so hard after hearing it on NPR). Not sure if I am the first to notice, but the 9999 after nonnie is remarkably similar to Cain’s 999 plan, What is your 999NINE plan nonnie?

    • i didn’t watch the news, so i just grabbed a story at the last minute and ran with it. i watched david letterman make mincemeat out of hermie last night (and did it so cleverly that hermie never even saw the knife). i have no 999 plan. i had those 9s first, and if hermie tries to wrest them from me, i’ll kick him in his tiny balls.

      • elizabeth3hersh

        I forgot to mention that I LOVED this post.

        P.S. That corndog looks strategically placed.

        • i tried to be very, very careful with the corndog. knowing where many people’s imaginations would go. the original pic of the guy is very odd. it looks like his leg is growing out of his ass. i gave a fleeting thought to fixing it, but then i figured it’s a cartoon, so i went with it as it was. i was actually more concerned with cleaning up the dishes on the floor, because i didn’t want it to look like a domestic violence scene.

  4. Besides being crazy as a loon, Bachmann’s hypocrisy about taking the dole @ the public $$$ trough is a big deal too. As she touted the opposite @ tea party rallies, her & her family’s actions were exactly the opposite.
    So she’s crazy & she lies.
    From Politicus:

    While she has been in Congress, Michele Bachmann and her husband Marcus have been living the high life on your tax dollars. Marcus Bachmann’s clinic has taken $137,000 in Medicaid funds and an additional $24,000 in federal and state funds. This is in addition to the $260,000 in federal dairy and corn subsidies that she has taken for the family dairy farm, and let’s not forget her $174,000 annual salary plus benefits that she receives as a member of Congress. All of this adds up to over $1.1 million in taxpayer money that she or her husband has received, not counting benefits, since she was elected to Congress.

    I’ll admit that my estimate is on the low side. When we factor in her benefits and perks including the free healthcare that she and family enjoy, I am sure that the amount of money Rep. Bachmann is costing taxpayers is much higher. The average American collects $295 a week in unemployment benefits, which is $15, 342 a year. One year of Michele Bachmann’s congressional salary could provide benefits for 11 families. For what Michele Bachmann has cost the federal government in salaries, benefits and subsidies 110 families could stay on unemployment for a year if needed.

    It seems to me that if America wants to cut costs the first thing we should get rid of isn’t unemployment benefits, but freeloaders like Michele Bachmann.

    *sorry so long, but a BIG reason why she’s all but ignored in the debates & the race.

  5. I agree with Elizabeth. I just knew you were going to do a treatment on Herman’s great foreign government knowledge. My husband and I were howling at the breakfast table as we read the paper regarding Herman’s declaration that “theTaliban are taking over Libya’s government.” It’s all so sad. We’re making plans to move to Canada if any of these candidates get near the White House.

    • know what i would love to see at one of the debates? have the moderator whip out a map, and make the candidates point out where libya, iran, iraq, pakistan, etc. are on a map. of course, hermie will say he doesn’t have to know, because he’ll hire someone who does. meanwhile, botox batshit bachmann will be looking all over europe for libya, and gov little ricky goodhair will simply reply oops

    • elizabeth3hersh

      etomczyk –

      You might enjoy the following tweet I retweeted yesterday by a co-founder of the Daily Show:

      “Libya, I did not touch her Libya” – Herman Cain mixing up his explanations.

  6. I’m so glad Madame Batshit’s bubble was the first to burst. So, how long before she drops out of the race to focus on running for Congress?

  7. About that corndog…nibbled…I keep looking for Marcus in the picture. Is he under her skirt…Oh noes, never there!

    • bad jerry! like i said to dirty-minded elizabeth, i tried to place the corndog strategically (i won’t say if my strategy was to make it look dirty or innocent).

  8. Snoring Dog Studio

    No, she hasn’t had ONE gaffe or ONE thing.
    Or, a meteorite hit her and made her fall down.

  9. jay

    My favorite remains this one:

    • my favorite will always be when she did her best imitation of joe mccarthy on hardball and called for investigations of members of congress. of course, she denied it afterwards.

  10. I loved her answer to a question from a town hall meeting-
    “How much of the money I earn should I be able to keep?”
    Bachmann: “All of it”!

    Oops! Now there is not one dime for government funding!
    Game over.

  11. Everything that woman says or does is a gaffe

  12. With supporters who prefer exaggerations and inaccuracies, there are no gaffes.

  13. Joan

    Wow! I found those 2 toys of the Internets-Twitter & Facebook & said, “Damn! I need to see what Nonnie thinks of the Idiot Circus the Republican nominees inhabit!”. You do not disappoint! The debates have kept the spotlight on the moronity (?) of the GOTP and it would be totally hilarious if not for the fact you have to slap yourself and say, “Dang-this ain’t a sitcom!”.

    • joanaroo! where ya been? so happy to see you! 😀

      on one hand, the rethug circus is like a really bad reality show that you can’t stop watching, just to see what stupid thing will happen next. sort of like jersey shore, but the asswipes are totally unbuff and pasty. on the other hand, it’s really a national embarrassment that these are the best the rethuglican party can come up with.