As George Stephanopoulos pointed out on “Good Morning America” today, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) has a tenuous relationship with the facts. But after watching her interviews with him and with Matt Lauer of NBC’s “Today” show, there’s no doubt that the newest official candidate for the Republican nomination is ready for prime time.
Unlike Chris Wallace, who muddied his legitimate question by asking Bachmann if she was a “flake,” Stephanopoulos let her words speak for themselves. The three-term congresswoman not only defended her past statements but she also dodged completely and convincingly the question about whether she has a problem with facts and truth.
Over at “Today,” Bachmann’s newfound discipline and focus were on display throughout the interview. But it was her response to Lauer’s question about whether she was going to be “Palinized” that impressed me most.
At first, and as is her practice, Bachmann tried to dodge the baiting question by using it as another opportunity to highlight her bio. To his credit, Lauer stopped her and pressed her to answer the question. And she did.
There will be a media onslaught of attack. But that’s nothing new. That’s something that goes with the territory. It doesn’t matter who the candidate is. Whether they’re male or female, there will be attacks that come. And that’s something we simply have to be prepared to deal with and I’m prepared.
Catch that? “Whether they’re male or female...”? Bachmann doesn’t make excuses for criticism of her or attacks against her. No blame-shifting or charges of sexism.
As I said yesterday, this is what separates Bachmann from Palin, another darling of the Tea Party, Evangelicals and far-right conservatives. As a result, Bachmann continues to pass one of the first tests of nomination and presidential politics -- the laugh test. Like me, you might not agree with anything she says, and what she says might bear no resemblance to the truth. But you can’t deny that she is ready for prime time. So, settle in for the fun. The GOP nominating process is beginning to get good.