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 Slate political reporter. 

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 Slate political reporter. 


Frame Game

Hard Knocks

I was hit by a teacher in an East Texas public school. It taught me nothing.

There Are New Abuse Allegations Against Adrian Peterson

After This Merger, One Company Could Control One-Third of the Planet's Beer Sales

John Oliver Pleads for Scotland to Stay With the U.K.

If You’re Outraged by the NFL, Follow This Satirical Blowhard on Twitter


Don’t Expect Adrian Peterson to Go to Prison

In much of America, beating your kids is perfectly legal. 

The Juice

Ford’s Big Gamble

It’s completely transforming America’s best-selling vehicle.

I Tried to Write an Honest Profile of One of Bollywood’s Biggest Stars. It Didn’t Go Well.

Here’s Why College Women Don’t Take Rape Allegations to the Police

The XX Factor
Sept. 15 2014 1:51 PM Here’s Why College Women Don’t Take Rape Allegations to the Police
  News & Politics
Sept. 15 2014 8:56 PM The Benghazi Whistleblower Who Might Have Revealed a Massive Scandal on his Poetry Blog
Sept. 15 2014 7:27 PM Could IUDs Be the Next Great Weapon in the Battle Against Poverty?
Sept. 15 2014 4:38 PM What Is Straight Ice Cream?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 15 2014 3:31 PM My Year As an Abortion Doula
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Sept. 15 2014 11:38 AM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 4  A spoiler-filled discussion of "Listen."
Brow Beat
Sept. 15 2014 8:58 PM Lorde Does an Excellent Cover of Kanye West’s “Flashing Lights”
Future Tense
Sept. 15 2014 4:49 PM Cheetah Robot Is Now Wireless and Gallivanting on MIT’s Campus
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 15 2014 11:00 AM The Comet and the Cosmic Beehive
Sports Nut
Sept. 15 2014 9:05 PM Giving Up on Goodell How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.