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Jerry Weissman


Bachmann's Media Pendulum

Posted: 09/29/11 11:17 AM ET

In a prior post about Representative Michelle Bachmann’s presentations, you read how she recovered from her stumble of speaking to the wrong camera during her televised response to President Obama’s State of the Union in January by imposing an iron fist in her management of media relations. But now, with her presidential aspirations being severely challenged by Texas Governor Rick Perry, Ms. Bachmann has stumbled again.

She just released a new campaign video with extremely low production values: standing in front of a cheesy plastic plant, she speaks directly into the camera but her voice sounds thin and distant by an evidently misplaced microphone.  The New York Times report of the video called it “a metaphor for a presidential campaign increasingly perceived as struggling financially and organizationally.”

Her media troubles continued when Ed Rollins, the veteran political campaign guru who made his mark as the manager of President Ronald Reagan's 1984 re-election campaign, resigned as Ms. Bachmann’s manager for “health reasons,” but then proceeded to criticize her in the media. The Times story added:

On MSNBC, he [Mr. Rollins] called her vaccine-mental retardation comments a “mistake,” something Mrs. Bachmann has not conceded; and on another occasion he averred that she lacked “the ability or the resources” to continue her campaign beyond Iowa…

Referring to a news photograph of her during a visit to a meat-cutting business on Tuesday that some thought made her look unpresidential, he said, “I’m not calling up and saying, ‘You should not be in meat lockers.’ ”

Mr. Rollins’ split from Ms. Bachmann is an echo of his resignation as the campaign manager of Ross Perot’s bid for the presidency in 1992.  According to the Times report then, “Mr. Rollins said the prime source of disagreement was over the nature and timing of an advertising campaign for Mr. Perot.”

Ms. Bachmann is diametrically opposed to the theories of Karl Marx, but the 19th century socialist once made an observation that is applicable here, "History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce."


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