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

Newest java joint in bastion of hipness is…

Little may represent the change the neighborhood is undergoing right now like the arrival of the first Starbucks. The chain which is ubiquitous in Manhattan, opened a Williamsburg store at…

National

Black and white are the new orange at…

By Brendan O'Brien(Reuters) - Black and white are the new orange in a Michigan county where the sheriff has made a wardrobe change for jail…

National

Traps set after reports of giant snake on…

New Jersey animal control workers have set traps to snare a reported 20-foot-long serpent slithering through the waters of Lake Hopatcong.

Local

NYPD: Stroller carrying 2-year-old rolls onto Queens subway…

A 2-year-old girl in a stroller rolled onto subway tracks in Queens on Monday morning, police said.

Entertainment

‘The Leftovers’ recap: Season 1, Episode 4, ‘B.J.…

Last week’s episode of “The Leftovers” was apparently a fluke, because this week’s episode returns to focusing on the Garveys and it is so boring.…

Movies

Interview: Luc Besson says 'Lucy' is very different…

Filmmaker Luc Besson talks about his new film "Lucy," how it's different than "Limitless" and his crazy first conversation with Egyptian actor Amr Waked.

Music

Weezer releases first new song since 2010

Weezer releases "Back to the Shack," their first new song in almost six years.

Movies

Benedict Cumberbatch plays a different kind of genius…

The man known worldwide for his portrayal of London's eccentric private detective Sherlock Holmes is trading his Belstaff coat for tweed this fall. Benedict Cumberbatch…

NFL

'Vicktory dogs' travel road to rehabilitation seven years…

Of the dozens of dogs groomed by Bad Newz Kennels, 48 were rescued and 22 of the pit bull terriers have emerged at Best Friends Animal Society.

MLB

Yankees looking at trade for Cliff Lee, according…

Yankees looking at trade for Cliff Lee, according to report

NFL

Giants lineman Chris Snee to retire: Reports

The Giants report to training camp on Tuesday, but Chris Snee may not be there when they do.

NBA

Carmelo Anthony talks about his charity work in…

As he is used to doing every year, NBA All-Star Carmelo Anthony is going to visit Puerto Rico to do work for his foundation.

Tech

RocketSkates let users roll with a motor

Los Angeles company Acton has raised funds on Kickstarter to roll out a nifty alternative – motor-powered "RocketSkates."

Tech

Knicks star Carmelo Anthony becomes a tech entrepreneur

He's been an All-Star, an Olympian, and a celebrity spokesperson. Now NBA player Carmelo Anthony is adding the position "tech entrepreneur" to his resume. Along…

Tech

Ulises 1 is the world's first singing satellite

A group of artists and engineers in Mexico have unveiled Ulises 1, the world's first opera-singing satellite.

Home

Wallscape on a budget

Skip the wallpaper and ombre an accent wall instead.