Flavor of the Week: Michele Bachmann

Politics, like most human beings, are notoriously fickle.  Washington is such that someone’s political fortunes can rise to epic proportions only to come crashing down by the time the next news cycle comes through.  The Washington Post outlines the fundraising prowess of Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-MN), tea party favorite and 2012 presidential contender.  Her recent political fame has surprised many, but she has quite an effective tactic.  Make an outrageous claim or statement, and just watch the dollars (and attention) flow in.  Veteran politicos call it a ‘money blurt,’ an intentionally provocative statement designed to achieve maximum impact on fundraising activities.  For example, Bachmann accused the President of harboring ‘anti-American views.’  At the time, she wasn’t particularly well known, and she made over $1 million in the ensuing days.

But, just as her fundraising, name recognition and status as the tea party favorite is being cemented, she may soon be running into some ethical problems.  Roll Call reports that she used taxpayer money to stage a political rally on the steps of the capital, a federal and electoral no-no.  Bachmann’s office considered the expenditure appropriate, and deemed the event a ‘press conference,’ despite the fact that there were no questions taken from the press.  For many politicians, that’s probably going to be the best press conference ever.

Bachmann’s riding high.  But she can, just as easily, crash and burn.  It’s a fact of life, and it’s particularly pronounced amongst politicians.  And for wacko as crazy as Bachmann, the crash and burn part is likely to be pretty dramatic.  Lucky for us, as long as they don’t represent us, it’s fun to watch.

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