Michele Bachmann at CPAC (www.nationaljournal.com).
by Tony Petrangelo
Mar 22, 2013, 4:00 PM

The Weekly Wrap 3-22

Update by Steve: Not only the Wrap™ is focusing on Michele Bachmann, Congressional ethics investigators are, too.

♣ There has been a lot written this week about Minnesota Sixth District Congresswoman Michele Bachmann‘s apparent new press strategy. On the one hand, she is clearly spooked by her near loss just a few months ago and has been laying low. On the other, she went to CPAC and did her old school Michele Bachmann thing, making all sorts of accusations and claims with no regard whatsoever for the facts.

National Journal:

Indeed, 18 months ago, Bachmann was on top of the conservative world, emerging unexpectedly as a serious contender for the Republican nomination for president with a win in the Iowa straw poll. But that August victory was the beginning of the end of her presidential run. She quit the race in early January, after an embarrassing sixth-place finish in the Iowa caucuses, and returned home to a newly drawn district and a bitter fight just to hold onto her House seat. She won by fewer than 5,000 votes and returned to Congress—this time more quietly.

Here is long time Republican person of note Vin Weber in a Roll Call piece:

What Michele found is that running for president does not help you in your congressional district. The message that it sends is that you have higher ambitions and we are not your top priority. I don’t think she wanted to send that message, but she did, and I think she’s back now reassuring people that being a member of Congress is her priority.

As that same article later points out:

To be sure, the content of Bachmann’s message hasn’t changed much. Her CPAC speeches, especially on March 16, were laced with the red-meat rhetoric that’s made her a controversial figure in national politics. She also sat down with conservative media that lined radio row at a National Harbor hotel, with young conservatives crowding her every step through the corridors.

That would be the same CPAC speech that the Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler fact checked two days in a row. The first statement he checks for accuracy or lack thereof:

A new book is out talking about the perks and the excess of the $1.4-billion-a-year presidency that we’re paying for. And this is a lifestyle that is one of excess. Now we find out that there are five chefs on Air Force One. There are two projectionists who operate the White House movie theater. They regularly sleep at the White House in order to be readily available in case the first family wants a really, really late show. And I don’t mean to be petty here, but can’t they just push the play button? We are also the ones who are paying for someone to walk the president’s dog, paying for someone to walk the president’s dog? Now, why are we doing that when we can’t even get a disabled veteran into the White House for a White House tour? That isn’t caring!

The verdict? It’s not at all accurate. The Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler uses a scale that ranges from one to four Pinocchio’s for a statement found to be inaccurate. The above statement from the Minnesota congresswoman rated at four Pinocchios.

And as far as the projectionists, a person who is employed in the audio and video integration field and is in a union, is very likely to be in the projectionists union. In other words, two projectionists most likely means that there is an A/V person on-call 24 hours a day.

The touch panels pictured in this image and this image are made by the Texas based-company AMX who makes commercial grade A/V control systems. What this means is when something fails or doesn’t work right you need a tech on call to come and fix it in exactly the same way they likely need IT staff on call 24/7 to fix Cisco issues.

This was the other thing that Bachmann said at CPAC that was fact checked by Glenn Kessler:

Here’s the truth that the president won’t tell you. Of every dollar that you hold in your hands, 70 cents of that dollar that’s supposed to go to the poor doesn’t. It actually goes to benefit the bureaucrats in Washington, D.C. — 70 cents on the dollar. That’s how the president’s caring works in practice. So $3 in food stamps for the needy, $7 in salaries and pensions for the bureaucrats who are supposed to be taking care of the poor. So with all due respect, I ask you, how does this show that our president cares about the poor?

And  because Michele is nothing if not consistent this statement also receives the coveted four Pinocchio rating.

And then there was this:

So despite all the talk, Michele is most certainly still Michele.

One last thing, this from the National Journal article I started with:

A few friends of Bachmann’s even speculated, quietly, that she could be bracing herself for a Senate bid next year.

While this is certainly not the first case of speculation about weather or not Michele Bachmann would actually run for Senate against Al Franken, it is, to my recollection, the first time that such speculation has been linked to “friends of Bachmann,” as opposed to it being just wild speculation.

I’m still skeptical that she will run for Senate. If she was laying the groundwork for a Senate run, why would she latch onto an infrastructure project that benefits her district as opposed to something with more statewide impact.

Dave Thompson has now indicated they are thinking of running for Governor.

I have talked to my family about it. I am serious, but I’m not ready to make a decision yet.

We all wait with bated breath.

♣ Speaking of which, Rachel Stessen-Berger has a rundown of names that have been linked to possible gubernatorial runs against Governor Mark Dayton.

These are the names listed besides Senator Thompson along with my two cents.

Scott Honour – a businessman who has zero name recognition in Minnesota.

Rep. Kurt Zellers – we can only hope.

Sen. Julie Rosen – as the bills chief author, can’t wield the Vikings stadium club.

Sen. David Hann – would be a terrible statewide candidate.

Comm. Jeff Johnson – of this group, he might have the best chance.

♣ The funniest thing about this story, to me, is the idea of Greg Davids furiously scrawling out a bunch Letter’s to the Editor about fellow legislators. Sounds like a fantastic use of your time Greg! Keep it up!

Thanks for your feedback. If we like what you have to say, it may appear in a future post of reader reactions.