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Monday, June 27, 2011

Michele Bachmann Totally Mishandles Chris Wallace "Flake" Question / Apology

Michele Bachmann, who formally entered (m) the 2012 presidential race today, threw a fit when asked by Chris Wallace "Are you a flake?" Contrast this with the kind of calm and self-assured response that Ron Paul has given interviewers for years now as they've consistently maligned him with unserious and insulting questions.

And now that Chris Wallace has apologized-- which is absolutely absurd; the sky will fall the day a news anchor is bullied into apologizing to Ron Paul for being rude, and honestly Wallace's question wasn't rude at all-- Michele Bachmann is refusing to accept his apology (m). Critics have asked it about Sarah Palin, and I'll ask it about Michele Bachmann... if she's really that thin-skinned does anyone actually want Michele Bachmann to have the nuclear football?

Someone as sensitive, emotional, and vindictive as Michele Bachmann is frankly-- pretty flaky, and lacks the poise, self-assurance, and magnanimity necessary for someone in such a critical executive role as President of the United States. Over at, Doug Powers gives an excellent example of any number of good answers Bachmann could have given: "I’m the least flaky person in all 58 states, Chris." Too bad we haven't had a presidential candidate that clever, quick, and funny since Ronald Reagan.

The absolute best analysis of the whole Wallace interview and "flake" question, comes from Ann Althouse, who summarizes it thusly:

Chris Wallace throws a softball question at Michelle Bachmann, then is bullied into apologizing... and Bachmann won't even accept the apology!

When did people become so humorless? Wallace — who seems like a sweetheart — asked "Are you a flake?" Obviously, he was saying, in a cute and pithy way A lot of people would like to portray you as some kind of flake: What do you have to say to them?

It was an easy set up for her to attack those people who say things like that. Why pillory Wallace?

Althouse is absolutely correct here. Wallace was clearly not asking the question to beat up on her, but giving her a chance to respond to her critics, a chance she took and used to list off her tall list of credentials. It was a soft ball question. (Contrast Wallace's interview with George Stephanopoulos' treatment of Ron Paul in the 2008 election.)

Interesting that it should take Ann Althouse, a woman to point this out. In all the sanctimony over Wallace's question, calling it condescending and insulting, I can't shake this feeling that it's all colored by a subtle undercurrent of paternalism-- the media and supporters jumping in to "save" Michele Bachmann, a vulnerable damsel in distress, from that mean old Chris Wallace.

As Althouse suggests, Wallace is quite obviously a sweetheart. Michele Bachmann is quite obviously a flake.

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