Michele Bachmann: Blame Elvis

Michele Bachmann
getty images

Michele Bachmann is out, and Elvis did her in. 

She whipped a South Carolina crowd into a frenzy last summer with her big smile, her even bigger campaign bus, and this unfortunate shout-out: “Let’s all say happy birthday to Elvis Presley today!”  

But the King was born in January. The day she made that speech was the anniversary of his death.
  
Was that the decisive moment in Bachmann’s campaign? No. But it didn’t help.

Neither did another misstep, when she told voters in Waterloo, Iowa, that she had the same spirit as their hometown boy, the legendary actor John Wayne. But he never lived there. John Wayne Gacy did.

He was a serial killer who dressed up like a clown.  
 
I have mixed emotions about us media types skewering politicians for every twisted pop culture reference. Frankly, I don’t think the Leader of the Free World should be keeping up with the Kardashians, the King or the Real Housewives. I tend to agree with critics who think that our political process has become too much of a game of “Gotcha!” 

We pepper candidates endlessly with detailed questions about what they know, who they know, why they know them and when did all of this happen anyway? We ask them to be instant experts on everything from the economy, international affairs and farm policy to education, housing and alligator wrestling. Then, when they stumble, we pop open the trap door and drop them, like contestants on a game show, into the footnotes of history.
 
It’s not fair. These folks want to be the president of the United States, not a Jeopardy champion. 

But … and this is a big caveat … it is worth noting that candidates are rarely torpedoed by a single gaffe. Or even two or three. What does them in is a pattern of mistakes that suggests a certain overall sloppiness of thought, inattention to detail, or a shaky grasp of facts. Bachmann, while certainly an intelligent, talented politician, had a few too many of those moments. And she won’t be the last to do so. 

Maybe they were honest mistakes, blown out of proportion. But in the end, they — and Elvis — took her out. And I wonder if she’s lonesome tonight.

– CNN’s Tom Foreman is a regular on “AC360°”/www.ac360.com and “The Situation Room.”
Metro does not endorse the opinions of the author, or any opinions expressed on its pages. Opposing viewpoints are welcome. Please send 300-word submissions to letters@metro.us.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Memorial held for Sean Collier, MIT police officer…

More than 1,600 people gathered at MIT on Friday for a memorial service for Sean Collier, the police officer shot to death a year ago in the aftermath of the…

National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox score two in…

Lester shines in Red Sox win over White Sox

Sports

2014 Boston Marathon preview: Elite American, International runners…

2014 Boston Marathon: Elite American, International runners to watch

NBA

2014 NBA Finals odds: Ranking which playoff teams…

2014 NBA Finals odds: Ranking which playoff teams have the best shot at a championship. The Thunder, Clippers, Heat and Rockets lead the way.

NFL

2014 Patriots, full NFL schedule release date announced

2014 Patriots, full NFL schedule release date announced

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.