Michele Bachmann is tied for first place in Iowa. Put away your crazy-eyes jokes (we will too) and watch Chris Wallace grovel for asking her if she's a flake.
And then watch Bachmann shrug off his apology like she doesn't need a thing from the serious face of the network that helped create her.
If you had a Bachmann-free weekend, here's a recap: She was on Fox News Sunday yesterday, during which Wallace demanded she answer for critics that say she's a flake. As Erin complained yesterday, "If there's anything I dislike more than Michele Bachmann being a serious political candidate, it's Chris Wallace talking to her like she's a stupid high school cheerleader running for city council. Stupid people have no problem making themselves look stupid without any help."
Or, as the case may be, incredibly wrong people who make shit up, and who are tying with Romney in Iowa.
All of this is stiffening Bachmann's "titanium spine," which she mentioned again today on the same Good Morning America interview. As Slate's Dave Weigel put it, "A weird, vaguely sexist question was the best trophy Bachmann could have hoped for from her Sunday TV tour."
Wallace clearly got his ass handed to him from viewers, who get very upset about sexism when it's against 1) Palin and 2) Bachmann and 3) That's it.
Bachmann handled the "flake" question with utter aplomb. It wasn't a real question and required her only to state her credentials. Wallace would have been better off asking her why she has been telling wildly implausible stories — lies, most likely — about what Obama intends for Medicare.
In the meantime, Bachmann is cannily playing to her audience, whatever it may be at a given moment. Politico points out that in one April day in Iowa alone, she made incendiary remarks about Planned Parenthood at one event, then sounded positively bipartisan at another one.
On abortion, a demure Bachmann intoned that while "every life is valuable, that's not to condemn abortion-minded women who find themselves in a tough situation."
Abortion-minded women, are you convinced?
How Fox News Bungled Its Michele Bachmann Interview [The Atlantic]
Bachmann Zeroes In On Iowa [Politico]
Keeping Up With Michele Bachmann