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

Apple says its systems not to blame for…

By Edwin Chan and Christina FarrSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - The week before a crucial launch of its new iPhone, Apple Inc said intimate photos of…

Local

Tallest residential building planned for lower Manhattan

A residential tower planned for lower Manhattan will soar 1,356 feet in the air -- just 12 feet shy of 1 World Trade Center. When…

Local

Bronx man commits suicide by decapitation

A Bronx man committed suicide Monday morning in the Hunts Point area of the Bronx by decapitating himself. According to the NYPD, the 51-year-old man…

Local

Top cops enroll in Twitter course at John…

NYPD officers are reportedly getting a lesson on the best way to use 140 characters or less. The New York Post reported Tuesday top officers…

Arts

Pop culture and prostitutes: New Toulouse-Lautrec exhibit at…

Henri Toulouse-Lautrec documented the cult of celebrity and the rise of pop entertainment in his prints, posters and lithographs — now on display at MoMA.

Arts

PHOTO: Extreme artist Eskil Ronningsbakken balances unicycle on…

Extreme artist’ Eskil Ronningsbakken balances on the edge of a cliff face at 4,600 feet – on a unicycle. The Norwegian travels across the globe, balancing over vertiginous ravines, tall…

Music

Hear two previously unreleased Adele songs

Missing some Adele in your life? Two previously unreleased songs from the singer have appeared online.

Music

Lincoln Center just made 'Lord of the Rings'…

Middle Earth already has sweeping vistas, a hero's journey and technology-revolutionizing special effects. But next April, the Lincoln Center will add another dimension to Peter Jackson's…

NFL

10 storylines to watch for the Giants this…

The Giants rebounded from an embarrassing 0-6 start last season, but not well enough to make the playoffs.

NFL

Michael Vick set to be weekly guest with…

Mike Francesa may need to backtrack from his harsh commentary of Michael Vick now that the Jets backup quarterback will be a weekly guest on his show.

NFL

Jets expect to make playoffs after sitting on…

The same pundits who predicted the Jets would be woeful a season ago are now eying the playoffs for this revamped team.

NFL

Antonio Allen returns to practice after concussion

Antonio Allen was cleared to practice again following his concussion two weeks ago.

Parenting

In defense of making a mess during playtime

"Recipes for Play" authors Rachel Sumner and Ruth Mitchener think playtime should involve the five senses and making a mess is part of the fun.

Wellbeing

Jason Hope helps push anti-aging efforts forward

Reporter was commissioned to write this in-depth article When it comes to age-related illness, the direction of modern medicine seems more reactive than proactive. In…

Wellbeing

Today's Doomsday preppers: a closer look at survivalist…

Reporter was commissioned to write this in-depth article. The term “Doomsday prepper” is often associated with the paranoid, anti-government stereotype of the 1990s. The truth…

Education

These college students think breakfast is the most…

  It should be no surprise that the city that never sleeps is also home to the most students who like to order food in…