Last Call, Part IV

I hadn’t intended to ask our readers to donate to Michele Bachmann’s campaign this year, not because she doesn’t deserve your support–she is one of Congress’s conservative stalwarts–but because she didn’t appear to need the help. Now, she might.

A week ago, Michele was cruising along with an eleven-point lead over a weak and little-known opponent. Then she appeared on Chris Matthews’ Hardball–why, I don’t know. Matthews spent the entire brief interview trying to goad Michele into saying that Barack Obama is unpatriotic. Bachmann actually did a good job of explaining why the Ayers and Jeremiah Wright stories are important, and she didn’t bite on “patriotic.” She did acknowledge that Ayers and Wright are anti-American, which doesn’t seem controversial. That led to this exchange:

BACHMANN: It’s a fair comment, because Barack Obama does have a close association with Bill Ayers. It’s one that the American people have a right to have some answers to. And Barack Obama still hasn’t come clean on his relationship with Bill Ayers. It’s been under the radar, and only recently has it been coming out, and people need to know.

MATTHEWS: So this is a character issue. You believe that Barack Obama may — you’re suspicious because of relationship — may have anti-American views. Otherwise, it’s probably irrelevant to this discussion.

(CROSSTALK)

BACHMANN: Absolutely. I absolutely…

MATTHEWS: So you believe that Barack Obama may have anti- American views?

BACHMANN: Absolutely. I’m very concerned that he may have anti- American views.

That’s what the American people are concerned about. That’s why they want to know what his answers are.

The next day the Minneapolis Star Tribune headlined something along the lines of “Bachmann Questions Obama’s Patriotism.” The resulting media hoopla unleashed a torrent of contributions to Michele’s opponent, which in turn generated confident predictions that the race is now up for grabs. Yesterday, Nancy Pelosi was in town, raising money for Michele’s opponent.

I’m not sure that’s true. Michele is a tireless retail campaigner running for re-election in a good Republican district. It’s possible that negative publicity, whether deserved or not, could sway some votes toward her opponent, but no doubt a large majority of those who were planning on voting for Michele will not be put off by her patiently explaining to Chris Matthews why many voters care about Bill Ayers and Jeremiah Wright, and wonder what Barack Obama’s relationships with such men tell us about his own perspectives.

But let’s not take any chances. You can go here to learn more about one of our most outspoken conservatives and contribute to her campaign.

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