The Apotheosis of Michele Bachmann

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Aug. 13 2011 5:58 PM

The Apotheosis of Michele Bachmann

AMES, Iowa -- Michele Bachmann went into this thing as the frontrunner. Her tour in the run-up to Ames was a Hollywood-level production, literally, with grips on hand who'd worked on the last Transformers movie. Her entire operation at Ames was calculated to present her as a serious candidate, someone you -- by which I mean "Iowa Republicans who have some worries about electing candidates who can beat Obama" -- can imagine as president.

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

This reached its natural conclusion right before voting ended today. Bachmann, her husband Marcus, and the rest of her family stood on a stage in the center of her tent. The tent itself had been partially opened up to allow hundreds more people to listen to her. She gave the high-concretrate version of her stump speech, and when she finished, a series of confetti cannons shot their contents across the room.


"We're going to get in a golf cart," said Bachmann, "and if you haven't voted yet, follow us to the polls!"

The crowd surged in multiple directions, and an army of cameramen lurched with Bachmann over to a caravan of three golf carts. She and Marcus sat in the middle cart, smiling and thanking voters.

"You voted?" asked Marcus, pointing to a voter. An ink-stained thumb point back at him. "Good! You voted? Good! Thanks!"

The Bachmanns rode the short distance to the polls, mobbed by cameras and trailed by people wearing orange Bachmann Volunteer shirts. When they stopped, though, they didn't seem to be marshalling votes. As Michele gave signatures and posed for photos, Marcus waved a pack of tickets and asked passersby to vote for his wife.

Some voters, thrilled by the sight of the Bachmanns, simply stood there and gawked. Karen Weig held a ticket for her friend, Connie, who was about to vote for Bachmann but decided to chase the cart instead.

"I don't see her," shrugged Weig. "When do the polls close?"

The polls were about to close when she said that. The Bachmanns sped away in their carts, to let voters back in, and cameramen and volunteers pumped their legs to catch up. All that was missing from that scene was "Yakety Sax."

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics



Talking White

Black people’s disdain for “proper English” and academic achievement is a myth.

Hong Kong’s Protesters Are Ridiculously Polite. That’s What Scares Beijing So Much.

The One Fact About Ebola That Should Calm You: It Spreads Slowly

Operation Backbone

How White Boy Rick, a legendary Detroit cocaine dealer, helped the FBI uncover brazen police corruption.

A Jaw-Dropping Political Ad Aimed at Young Women, Apparently

The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 4:05 PM Today in GOP Outreach to Women: You Broads Like Wedding Dresses, Right?

How Even an Old Hipster Can Age Gracefully

On their new albums, Leonard Cohen, Robert Plant, and Loudon Wainwright III show three ways.

How Tattoo Parlors Became the Barber Shops of Hipster Neighborhoods

This Gargantuan Wind Farm in Wyoming Would Be the Hoover Dam of the 21st Century

Oct. 1 2014 8:34 AM This Gargantuan Wind Farm in Wyoming Would Be the Hoover Dam of the 21st Century To undertake a massively ambitious energy project, you don’t need the government anymore.
  News & Politics
Oct. 1 2014 7:26 PM Talking White Black people’s disdain for “proper English” and academic achievement is a myth.
Buy a Small Business
Oct. 1 2014 11:48 PM Inking the Deal Why tattoo parlors are a great small-business bet.
Oct. 1 2014 6:02 PM Facebook Relaxes Its “Real Name” Policy; Drag Queens Celebrate
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 5:11 PM Celebrity Feminist Identification Has Reached Peak Meaninglessness
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 1 2014 3:24 PM Revelry (and Business) at Mohonk Photos and highlights from Slate’s annual retreat.
Brow Beat
Oct. 1 2014 9:39 PM Tom Cruise Dies Over and Over Again in This Edge of Tomorrow Supercut
Future Tense
Oct. 1 2014 6:59 PM EU’s Next Digital Commissioner Thinks Keeping Nude Celeb Photos in the Cloud Is “Stupid”
  Health & Science
Oct. 1 2014 4:03 PM Does the Earth Really Have a “Hum”? Yes, but probably not the one you’re thinking.
Sports Nut
Oct. 1 2014 5:19 PM Bunt-a-Palooza! How bad was the Kansas City Royals’ bunt-all-the-time strategy in the American League wild-card game?