Huffpost Politics
Jason Linkins Headshot

Michele Bachmann, Ed Rollins Say They Would Have Saved Themselves Pain If They'd Googled One Another

Posted: Updated:
Getty Images

Michele Bachmann, whose once promising campaign has basically hit the skids, is looking to "reboot" herself. Step one, apparently, is co-hosting a "tele-town hall" with plastic surgery sweepstakes mogul and birther Donald Trump, who was apparently insufficiently informed of his participation in said event. Step two: doing some Iowa stuff! Per Trip Gabriel, in The New York Times:

Hoping for a second look from Republicans who just two months ago considered her a front-runner, Representative Michele Bachmann is going back to basics — a lot of hand-shaking and shoulder-rubbing at small events in early-voting Iowa; sharpening her message on red-meat issues to stir conservative voters.

She gave a rousing speech opposing illegal immigration over the weekend here, the climax of a three-day swing through Iowa. She plans to spend nearly all her time in the state before the caucuses, now scheduled for Jan. 3, just 77 days away.

It was only about two months ago that the state of Iowa looked as if it was going to confer enough support upon Bachmann to spring her on a national campaign. But problems began within hours of her Ames Straw Poll win, when her appearance at the Black Hawk County Republican Party’s Lincoln Day dinner was marred by lateness, excuses, poor behavior and the seeming unwillingness to acknowledge the presence of Rick Perry. Within a few weeks, observers were given to wonder if her candidacy had "peaked."

Around this time, the support she'd garnered from the Fox News Channel began to wane. Debate appearances were marred by huge gaffes -- like the famous "HPV vaccine causes mental retardation" claim. Then came the defections, most notably that of Ed Rollins, who essentially handed Bachmann the campaign-in-waiting he'd been building for Mike Huckabee. Rollins cited health concerns as the reason he quit the campaign trail, but he's proven to be healthy enough to offer up frequent criticisms of Bachmann and her campaign from the safety of the teevee studio. And a week ago, the National Review's Robert Costa wrote what amounts to the definitive text on the Bachmann decline.

So Iowa is no longer the launchpad for something special. Rather, it's become the site of Bachmann's last stand. Trouble is, Bachmann's way down in Iowa polls and deeply in debt. After buggering the fields of mathematics and finance with her constant claim that this summer's debt ceiling deal was a "$2.4 trillion blank check," she could really use one of those magical banknotes right about now.

She could also stand to get Rollins out of her head, and vice-versa:

She said critical comments Mr. Rollins made to reporters after stepping aside were dismaying.

“When it comes to personnel issues, I act professionally and respectful of former employees,” she said. “I just assume that’s a two-way street. It’s disappointing when it’s not.”

When it was pointed out that Mr. Rollins has a history of speaking sharply about candidates who once employed him, Mrs. Bachmann offered a tight smile. “I guess I should have done that Google search,” she said.

Rollins responded to this barb by telling Costa, “Well, if I would have Googled her, I would have found out she had 6 chiefs of staff in 5 years.” And that's true. Alternatively, of course, Ed Rollins could have simply asked a single person in America, "So, what do you think of me going to work as Michele Bachmann's campaign manager?"

For Bachmann, a Bid to Reconnect in Iowa [The New York Times]

[Would you like to follow me on Twitter? Because why not? Also, please send tips to -- learn more about our media monitoring project here.]

Around the Web

Michele Bachmann Campaign Changes: Chief Ed Rollins, Deputy ...

Ed Rollins: Michele Bachmann 'Stumbled' With HPV Vaccine ...

Michele Bachmann loses campaign manager Ed Rollins and top ...

In Reversal, Bachmann's Struggles Now Include Fund-Raising

Can Bachmann Survive Until Iowa?

  Obama Romney
Obama Romney
332 206
Obama leading
Obama won
Romney leading
Romney won
Popular Vote
33 out of 100 seats are up for election. 51 are needed for a majority.
Democrat leading
Democrat won
Republican leading
Republican won
Democrats* Republicans
Current Senate 53 47
Seats gained or lost +2 -2
New Total 55 45
* Includes two independent senators expected to caucus with the Democrats: Angus King (Maine) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.).
All 435 seats are up for election. 218 are needed for a majority.
Democrat leading
Democrat won
Republican leading
Republican won
Democrats Republicans
Seats won 201 234
Click for Full Results
Register To Vote