NASHUA, N.H. – Minnesota Representative Michele Bachmann held aloft a tea bag at a Republican fundraiser in a Nashua hotel today, drawing loud approval for the reference to the Tea Party and its inference of revolution.
But at an earlier political event, Bachmann, one of the Tea Party's shining lights in Congress who is considering a run for president, betrayed major gaps in her knowledge of the Revolutionary War.
"You're the state where the shot was heard around the world in Lexington and Concord," she told a group of conservatives and students gathered at a local school, in Manchester.
Of course, that shot was heard in Massachusetts, not the Granite State. The gaffe was reported yesterday on the website RealClearPolitics.
The remark demonstrated a surprising lack of basic knowledge about the historical events from which the Tea Party derives its name. It is likely to go down as one of the bigger missteps of the early primary season.
Bachmann is touring the country and testing the idea of running for president. With her strong conservative views and sharp one-liners, she has gained a big following around the country. A number of people from Massachusetts drove up to Nashua for the later fund-raising event.
"We see you on Fox all the time! Keep up the good work!" called out Valerie Lallas, a retrired teacher from Lynnfield, as Bachmann signed autographs after her speech.
"I'm on CNN, too," Bachmann replied.
"But we don't watch CNN," Lallas said.
In her speech, Bachmann slammed Washington culture, mocked President Obama and Democrats, and decried rising deficits and out-of-balance budgets.
"The real problem are the arrogant elites in D.C.," she said to the approving crowd. "The ultimate example of arrogance is ObamaCare."
Bachmann was disrupted by a group of protesters who talked their way into the event with the explanation of being St. Michael's College students on their way from the Vermont campus to Dartmouth. The students were introduced at the beginning of the fund-raising brunch, but halfway through Bachmann's remarks they produced small signs that said "End AIDS waiting lists" and began chanting.
"You lied to get in!" said one of the gathered Republicans who moved to escort them out.
Bachmann's star power drew heavy media attention in New Hampshire, easily outshining visits in recent days by Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty and former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum. But GOP state chairman Jack Kimball said Bachmann, if she decides to run, will have to join other candidates on the retail political circuit of town hall meetings and visits to diners.
About Political Intelligence
Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.