Is Michele Bachmann a gaffe machine or a serious candidate?

Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-MN) officially kicked off her 2012 presidential campaign Monday in Waterloo, Iowa and, as she has done before, screwed up the history of the city she was in. In one interview, clearly trying to charm the locals, Bachmann promised to “mimic the spirit of Waterloo’s own John Wayne.” In fact, there is a John Wayne from the town of Waterloo, Iowa, but it’s not the iconic movie star. It’s the serial killer, John Wayne Gacy. In defense of her gaffe, Bachmann said she’s “not perfect” and makes mistakes. Ya think?

Previously, while in New Hampshire, Bachmann proclaimed that she loved the state because it was where the shot was heard around the world in Lexington and Concord. The Battles of Lexington and Concord, and the shot heard around the world, took place in neighboring Massachusetts.

While the pundits may be tempted to “Palinize” Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann as we head into the Republican primary contest, there is really no need to delegitimize Bachmann based on her intelligence. There are plenty of substantive reasons why Bachmann should never set foot near the Oval Office. Just this week (it’s only Tuesday!) the gaffe prone Bachmann came out against the minimum wage and stood by her statement that the founding fathers “worked tirelessly to end slavery,” a unique historical revision of her own making. This week of gaffes has been trademark Bachmann.

As the front runner Mitt Romney appears to have maxed out on support among Republican primary voters, the alternative candidate, as it stands right now, is Bachmann. She is being taken seriously by many Republican voters, the absurdity of which will become clearer under the magnification of a presidential campaign. Bachmann’s John Wayne gaffe is news, but there is a danger in mocking her too much for fear that the joke will be on us in the end.

Join the Conversation