POLITICS

The 2012 Speculatron Weekly Roundup For July 1, 2011

07/01/2011 05:53 pm ET | Updated Aug 31, 2011

Michele Bachmann claimed the lion's share of the 2012 newshole this week after announcing her candidacy for President in Waterloo, Iowa. Of course, she's already announced that she was running. But did she do so while saying the word "Iowa" again and again? No, she did not. So now, Michele Bachmann is formally a fan of the state of Iowa, and at least one, if not all, of the John Waynes who at different points in American history resided in the Hawkeye State.

The stage was set for Bachmann's big week thanks to a timely appearance on Fox News Sunday, and the hay she was able to make out of this question from host Chris Wallace: "Are you a flake?" Such a hue and cry was ne'er heard! It wasn't long before Wallace was made to apologize for the question, and we wondered: "Political chat show participants apologize for mild criticism? Is that something that we are doing now, in America?" And apparently that is the case, because by the end of the week, Mark Halperin was apologizing for calling President Barack Obama, "kind of a dick." Poor, poor wealthy politicians, to have to endure such meek rebukes!

Bachmann toyed with Wallace's sensitivities for a good long while before finally accepting his apology. Victory in hand, she turned back to the fray, declaring herself to have a "titanium spine" and bringing a little of the flame she lit in Iowa to New Hampshire, where her biggest rival, Mitt Romney, is bunkered down.

But if you're Mitt Romney, you don't care about any of this. All eyes on Bachmann? Fine by Mitt. That means the scrutiny on his candidacy is much less intense, and now all the smaller fish in the race have to split their attention on a pair of surging frontrunners. Veteran campaign consultant Mike Murphy suggested that, in all likelihood, Bachmann's rise had Team Romney "delirious with joy."

As for the rest of the field, the battle continues. New York's new same-sex marriage law left social conservatives enraged, and Barack Obama struggling to define his undefined non-position on the matter. Tim Pawlenty tried to reboot his campaign by going all neo-con on the field. Ron Paul put down a big down payment in the upcoming Ames Straw Poll, Barack Obama played con-law pattycake with Chuck Todd, and don't look now, but it seems that we'll be adding Representative Thaddeus McCotter of Michigan to the slideshow next week. It never ends does it? Well, you can end this week, at least, by entering the 2012 Speculatron for the week of July 1, 2011.

The 2012 Speculatron Weekly Roundup, July 1

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