Michele Bachmann’s Dirty Little Secret

There are lots of things to talk about when it comes to Minnesota Congresswoman and wannabe-presidential candidate Michele Bachmann.  Her sense of geography is slightly off.  And her grasp of American history is not exactly what I’d hope for in someone who’s serious about running for the White House.  But when it comes to hot gossip, she’s sort of let me down.

I haven’t heard much dish or dirt about her and, actually, the fact that she and her husband have opened their home to many, many foster children wins a lot of points even with Democrats like me.  So aside from her recent information malfunctions, the woman who is giving Sarah Palin a run for her Tea Party money hasn’t given us much for the political gossip mill.

Until now.

It’s shocking and it’s something that could haunt Bachmann through 2012 and beyond.

Michele Bachmann grew up as a Democrat.  You heard me — a capital “D”,  Jimmy Carter-lovin’, 1970′s teen idol campaigning Democrat.  Don’t worry, though.  There is a decidedly Bachmann-esque twist to why she fled the Democratic party of her early college years and became the uber-conservative she is today.

It’s Gore Vidal’s fault.  Umm-hmm.   Bachmann told a reporter for a Minneapolis newspaper that Vidal’s book “Burr,” a work of historical fiction (yes, FICTION!) about the founding father who shot and killed Alexander Hamilton in their now-infamous duel,  not only made her rethink her philosophies as a Democrat, but pushed her into the arms of the GOP.  I’ve heard a lot of interesting stories in my day about how people arrived at their political leanings, but this one takes the cake.

“He was kind of mocking the Founding Fathers and I just thought, ‘What a snot.  …   I just remember reading the book, putting it in my lap, looking out the window and thinking, ‘You know what? I don’t think I am a Democrat. I must be a Republican.’ “

You know, lots of us were disappointed with Carter and the Democrats in the mid-1970s, so I understand a certain amount of reflection about that.  But I have to question one’s political commitment to any ideology if you can be swayed by a novel.  Even my fifth-grade daughter knows the difference between history and historical fiction, and which you can take to heart in forming your views of the world and your political leanings.

I don’t get the logic in her Republican epiphany, but I suppose it makes for a good one-liner.   Regardless of whether it’s true, I’m guessing that wherever Vidal is today, he’s happy about any bump in his book sales thanks to Bachmann’s comments.

And I can’t wait to hear more about any other Bachmann “a-ha” moments as the March to 2102 continues.  Who knows — in light of her “Gore Vidal’s book made me a Republican” confession, reports of a Bachmann political fling with John Anderson could be next.

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13 Responses to “Michele Bachmann’s Dirty Little Secret”

  1. Lisse Says:

    Well, you know there’s no more rabid preacher than a convert.

    She is right about one thing. Gore Vidal is a little snot. But he’s brilliant and funny and would have the most deliciously dismissive things to say about Bachmann herself. Though I doubt he’d think her worth his time.

  2. Donna Says:

    That’s one of the craziest things I’ve ever heard (even knowing that the subject of the crazy is Bachmann). Whatever one thinks of Gore Vidal, his historical novels were absolutely brilliant (Burr was one of several that trace the course of American history), well researched and illuminate how our country came to be.

  3. Debbie Owensby Moore Says:

    Like Palin, I don’t think we can expect to hear anything deeply intellectual from Bachmann. I do think she had stolen a lot of the attention from Palin, which is such a welcome relief.

  4. Chris Wysocki Says:

    Yeah, I guess because Michele Bachmann was never photographed leading a guy with a dildo on his nose around by a leash (cough, Krystal Ball, cough) she’s unfit for public office.

    Ronald Reagan was once a Democrat. We didn’t hold that against him and he turned out ok.

    “I don’t think we can expect to hear anything deeply intellectual from Bachmann.”

    Because the intellectuals have done such a bang-up job running this country?

    “Intellectuals killed by the millions in the 20th century, and it actually takes the sophisticated training of “education” to work yourself up into a state where you refuse to count that in the books. Intellectuals routinely declared things that aren’t true; catastrophically wrong predictions about the economy, catastrophically wrong pronouncements about foreign policy, and just generally numerous times where they’ve been wrong. Again, it takes a lot of training to ignore this fact.”

    RTWT – http://pajamasmedia.com/instapundit/117902/

  5. Daisy Says:

    Well, Hillary Clinton was raised a Republican. She was a Goldwater Girl. There’s a photo in her autobiography.

  6. Shannon Drury Says:

    Switching parties because a writer is kind of a jerk? That’s new.

  7. Joanne Bamberger aka PunditMom Says:

    Somehow, I think switching parties because of something a fiction writer wrote as opposed to a focus on real issues and making a change are different. As for Krystal Ball — that’s a different issue entirely and I think we all know that

  8. Jane Says:

    Is there any real difference between this and what others leaned toward or against based on Ayn Rand’s fiction and fictional philosophy?

  9. Cynthia Samuels Says:

    Well at least it demonstrates the power of the pen. And since you DO have a book coming out…..

  10. Corey Feldman Says:

    One the one hand I do think fiction can and in some cases should spark political change. But I am curious if she understood that she was reading historical fiction, and bit frightened if she did not.

  11. David Wescott Says:

    At least she reads.

  12. GVP Says:

    Vidal’s characters’ biases are obvious to smart readers, so clearly Bachmann’s not one of them–which makes her well-suited to her audience since they’re typically unaware of her biases, too. They lap her up! (She speaks the truth! Just ask her! After all, she went to Oral Roberts University!)

    She had told the Vidal story before, but cited “1876,” not “Burr.” She is as untrustworthy a narrator as are the narrator-characters Vidal creates, though far, far less interesting.

  13. JD Says:

    @GVP: I guess your Obama is smart? Mr. 57 states and a few more to visit. Mr. Spend 4 trillion dollars in 2 years of our childerns futures.

    @Joanne: No this is not different it is the same as Krystal Ball. The democrats get a pass on everything it seems. A republican plays footies with a guy in an airport bathroom he has to resign but Barny Frank runs a male prostitution ring from his tax payer funded washington DC appartment and he is a great guy. Democrats ignored John McCain and several republicans who brought up the housing crisis in the early 2000s and yet the crisis (started under carter and clinton) is Bush’s fault.

    Grow up liberalism is a mental disorder! Progressivism is unamerican!

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