This weekend marks the first anniversary of U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann’s despicable Oct. 17, 2008 “anti-America” remarks on MSNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews that made her a national celebrity.
As I reported a year ago today, Rep. Bachmann “dishonored her office and brought shame to the Sixth District and the State of Minnesota by calling for a media investigation reminiscent of McCarthy-era witch hunts to ‘find out [which members of Congress] are pro-America or anti-America.’”
In response to Bachmann’s shameful commentary, I petitioned the Minnesota Secretary of State on Oct. 18, 2008 to run as a write-in candidate against Bachmann in Minnesota’s 6th Congressional District election for U.S. Representative.
Bachmann’s anti-American statements nearly cost her the election in a safe Republican district, not because she lost her base fundamentalist support — her pre/post-Hardball poll numbers remained steady in the mid-40s — but because it drove large numbers of undecided and politically unaffiliated voters to the Democratic Party ticket.
Bachmann’s rant also opened the fundraising floodgates for her Democratic opponent, Elwyn Tinklenberg, who received roughly $2 million in political contributions after the “Hardball” incident (I received a little more than $1,000 in online donations for my write-in campaign) and boosted Tinklenberg’s poll numbers from the mid-30s to the mid-40s, as shown in the table below.
Bachmann Tinklenberg Anderson Undecided
Public Opinion Strategies (Oct. 12-13) 44 33 8 15
Bachmann on “Hardball” (Oct. 17) (-0) (+14) (-2) (-13)
SurveyUSA (Oct. 20-21) 44 47 6 2
FROM THE ARCHIVES: One Year Ago — October 18, 2008
The National Debt Clock, shown on Oct. 9, 2008 in New York, has run out of digits. The “1” has been moved left to the space once occupied solely by the digital dollar sign. A non-digital, improvised dollar sign has been pasted next to the “1.” (Photo credit: Bebeto Matthews / AP file)
One year ago today, on the 39th day after losing my 2008 primary challenge against U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann in Minnesota’s 6th Congressional District, I reported that Pakistan was scrambling for foreign aid to ward off a possible economic meltdown while trying to contain sharply escalating violence by Islamic fundamentalists. I also highlighted looming economic problems, citing a Washington Post report that the U.S. federal deficit was soaring toward the $1 trillion mark by the end of 2008, “creating the deepest well of red ink since the end of World War II.”
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