Michele Bachmann and the Telltale iPhone

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Dec. 29 2011 5:39 PM

Michele Bachmann and the Telltale iPhone

NEVADA, Iowa -- It was the oddest thing I've seen in 30 hours on the ground in Iowa. Michele Bachmann was wrapping up her 99-county tour with a short visit to the Snack Time diner, preceded by a CNN interview, to be followed by an interview on talk radio. For the CNN interview, Bachmann staff gathered supporters outside, asking them to hold signs during the hit. Most of the questions (from Wolf Blitzer) ended up focusing on Bachmann's tiff with her former state chairman, Kent Sorenson. She insisted that he'd told her of a salary offer from Ron Paul, "big money," in order to switch sides to his campaign. Bachmann went round after round with Blitzer, and then, on the commercial break, told reporters that she had a "phone record" of Sorenson calling her at 3:11 on Tuesday. She whipped out her white iPhone. At the next commercial break, Bachmann campaign manager took out the phone and showed it to cameramen, which snapped away, capturing Sorenson's phone number.

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"I'm Steve Jobs," Nahigian joked. "This is the iPhone 5S."

What do we learn from the fact that Bachmann's old state chairman gave her a call? Not a whole lot.

Meanwhile, Sorenson was issuing denials via the Paul campaign.

The recent smears from the media and the national political establishment motivated me to rush to Congressman Paul’s aid because he did the same for me in both of my races for the Iowa General Assembly.
 
As for the ridiculous allegations that Congresswoman Bachmann and her surrogates have made, I was never offered money from the Ron Paul campaign or anyone associated with them and certainly would never accept any.
 
Financial reports come out in just days which will prove what I’m saying is true. 
 
Even Congresswoman Bachmann’s political director issued a statement defending my character.  Since then, he’s been fired by the Bachmann campaign for daring to tell the truth.
 
Sadly, the values I most appreciated in Congresswoman Bachmann appear to have gone out the window in a last-minute effort to salvage what’s left of her campaign.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter.