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Even among her former fans, Michele Bachmann's silliness is coming into focus

Posted by Alan Wirzbicki  November 14, 2011 01:43 PM

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If Michele Bachmann has proved one thing during her career, it’s that she’s prone to wild-eyed assertions. That, of course, is not news to close political observers. But a sense of her kookiness has now gotten through to the Republican electorate, which is why, after her brief turn in the campaign spotlight, the fringe Minnesota congresswoman has seen her support erode.

Now Bachmann is annoyed because, in an errant email expressing a lack of enthusiasm about the prospect of having her for a post-debate webcast interview, CBS News director John Dickerson noted that she wasn’t going to get many questions during the debate on Saturday.

She didn’t — and the Bachmann’s campaign has seized on Dickerson’s email as evidence that “the liberal mainstream media elites are manipulating the Republican debates by purposely suppressing our conservative message and limiting Michele’s questions.’’

Earth to Campaign Bachmann: This isn’t about ideology, it’s about relevance. Yes, Bachmann may see her more prominent GOP rivals as “frugal socialists,” but in fact the ideological gamut in the Republican race runs from very conservative to moderately conservative. The media, naturally enough, wants to focus on the candidates who seem to have a realistic shot at being nominated. When Bachmann occupied one of those roles, she received plenty of air time and attention. Now that’s she’s faded to also-running status, she’s receiving much less. You can object to that as debate policy, but to try to cast it as an ideological issue is silliness. Actually, make that more silliness.

AP Photo/Richard Shiro: Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann at Saturday's debate in Spartanburg, S.C.

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ABOUT THE ANGLE Online commentary and news analysis from the Boston Globe. The Angle is produced by Rob Anderson and Alan Wirzbicki. You can follow Rob on Twitter at @rcand.

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