With her formal campaign announcement and her quick rise in the polls, Michele Bachmann's gone from cable news curiosity to presidential contender rather quickly. And that means reporters have a lot of catching up to do! And while the press his rooting around in the Minnesota congresswoman's past, pop stars want to be no part of her future. This is your day in Bachmannia.
Get Money Bachmann is famous for bashing "government handouts," so naturally every single time she's gotten cash from Uncle Sam is of interest. Turns out, it's a lot of times. NBC News' Michael Isikoff reported Tuesday night that Bachmann & Associates, a "quality Christian counseling" clinic run by Bachmann's husband Marcus, received $137,000 in Medicaid payments since 2005. (The congresswoman has said Medicaid grows "welfare rolls.") Bachmann's spokeswoman responded Wednesday, telling CNN that "it would be discriminatory not to accept Medicaid as a form of payment... As a state-sponsored counseling service, Bachmann and Associates has a responsibility to provide Medicaid and medical assistance, regardless of a patients financial situation."
Other government funds the Bachmanns have received:
- $24,000 in federal and state grants for the clinic to train employees, Isikoff reports.
- $260,000 in federal farm subsidies for a family farm, of which the congresswoman is a partner, the Los Angeles Times' report.
- $47 a day is how much Minnesota pays families to take in foster children who might have "serious mental health issues" in a "treatment home," as the Bachmanns did, The New York Times' Sheryl Gay Stolberg reports. But exactly how much the Bachmanns received for their 23 foster kids is unclear, because Minnesota allows those records to be destroyed after seven years.
Hollywood Liberals Never Let Conservatives Play Their Songs Only 29 seconds of Tom Petty's song "American Girl" played at Bachmann's announcement in Iowa, but that was way too much for him. Although Petty sent Bachmann a "cease and desist" letter, Bachmann's campaign played the tune again Tuesday night in South Carolina, Politico's James Hohmann reports.
At Bachmann's campaign stops, the "American Girl" clip was immediately followed by Katrina & The Waves' 1985 song "Walking On Sunshine," and now Katrina et al don't want Bachmann playing their music either, Rolling Stone's Andy Greene reports. On Wednesday the band issued a statement: "Katrina & The Waves would like it to be known that they do not endorse the use of 'Walking On Sunshine' by Michele Bachmann and have instructed their lawyers accordingly."
The New Yorker's Ryan Lizza tweets that Republican consultant Steve Schmidt once grumbled that it "sucks" being a Republican, because, "We can never use any cool music."
A Bus Arms Race? Lizza notes the Bachmann campaign bus has been revealed:
And the "Bachplane" too:
What About Jell-O? Their shared love of buses aside, Bachmann said she would not have a "mud-wrestling fight" with Sarah Palin, Reuters' Harriet McLeod reports, which is what everyone wants because they are both attractive and conservative and have brown hair, presumably. Bachmann agrees: "They want to see two girls come together and have a mud-wrestling fight, and I'm not going to give it to them," she said at a South Carolina stop. "I've got a lot of great respect and admiration for the governor... I appreciate her and I wish her well, and I think that this race is wide open."
Dems Buying Ads Off Her Name Roll Call's Kyle Trygstad reports that the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has purchased sponsored Google ads that show up when you search for Bachmann's name, as well as misspellings of it, and paired with terms like "John Wayne" and "lies."