Does Michele Bachmann think the recent earthquake and Hurricane Irene were messages from God about his political preference?
"I don't know how much God has to do to get the attention of the politicians. We've had an earthquake; we've had a hurricane. He said, 'Are you going to start listening to me here?"' Bachmann said at a campaign event in Sarasota on Sunday.
The statement has been widely criticized on the blogosphere from those who took her statement at face value, but Bachmann insists it was just a little joke.
"Of course she was saying it in jest," Alice Stewart, spokeswoman for Bachmann's campaign, told Reuters.
OK, fine. You can tell from the video above that it's a joke. Bachmann's inflection changes, the crowd laughs: she didn't mean it. Bachmann was clearly just having a little fun with the image of herself as a God-crazy loon. Even if you're not a fan, you should give her that right. Plenty of politicians crack jokes about themselves. And if they're not funny -- this one isn't -- that doesn't really matter. Politicians' jokes get graded on a curve. Mostly they get credit just for trying.
But the more interesting angle to this story is: Has Michele Bachmann entered Bill Simmons' famous Tyson Zone, where she could say or do literally anything and you would believe she was serious? Michele Bachmann thinks supermarkets are the devil? Totally. Michele Bachmann called Kirk Cameron "a great American hero"? Of course. Michele Bachmann says her favorite band is Bachman Turner Overdrive? Probably.
If this is the case, we're worried about her, on a personal level. Can Michele Bachmann actually joke about anything? Or should she doomed to be misunderstood the rest of her days?