Republican presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann campaigned in South Carolina today in an effort to outpace the media and the wave of headlines that crashed down upon her in the past three days over several gaffes and misstatements she made, a couple of which came as a result of attempting to dodge or explain other gaffes and misstatements.
And although she may not have given the press any more ammunition to use against her, she did give them an image to use as a headline grabber: A mud wrestling fight between the Minnesota Congresswoman and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.
Bachmann was in Charleston, S.C., informally addressing a question from one of the roughly 200 in attendance, according to Politico , which had asked what her relationship with Palin was after noting that the press had been attempting to “pit” the two against each other.
Bachmann acknowledged that the two had a “good” relationship and that the press seemed to be “sidelined” (although how “sidelined” might be debatable in that the press was having a field day with her gaffe-creating prowess).
“They want to see two girls come together and have a mud wrestling fight,” she said.
She might have meant to say mud-slinging fight, but either way the image will no doubt work fine for all those inclined to see Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann more as good-looking women than as serious politicians. The statement will undoubtedly do wonders for conjuring up images of scantily clad combatants wrestling to gain advantage in a one-on-one contest. (Suggested program title: “Barbie With Fangs” vs. “Caribou Barbie.”)
“And I’m not going to give it to ’em,” Bachmann added after the laughter, no doubt causing several scratched record and screeching brakes sounds in the heads of many of the male attendees (and possibly a few of the females as well).
Bachmann went on to say she had “great respect” for Sarah Palin.
“This race is wide open,” Bachmann told the crowd of more than 200. “We can accommodate all the candidates who want to come in. We’re going to stick together, and we’re going to see this thing through.”
As for pitting the two tea party darlings against each other, there have been quite a few comparison and contrast stories about the women. And there might be something to them, considering that, if Palin decides to eventually join the 2012 GOP race, they would be competitors for the same job.
Forget the mud wrestling. Is the press expected to believe that a campaign involving two people with nearly the same ideological viewpoint and vying for the same voter base (religious conservatives, tea party conservatives) and there will be no mud-slinging? Possible, but improbable considering that the two will each want to show voters why they are the better choice of the two of them (not to mention the rest of the Republican candidates).
There might have been a competition factor at play in the fact that Michele Bachmann formally announced her candidacy in her home state of Iowa on Monday, just a day before the world premiere of Sarah Palin’s movie “Undefeated,” possibly hoping to steal some of Palin’s thunder, much as she stole the spotlight at the first Republican Presidential Debate in New Hampshire earlier in the month by announcing that she had filed her paperwork and would soon announce her candidacy.
Still, at present, Bachmann is being morally supportive and announcing that it will all be good clean fun.
But that sentiment might quickly change if Palin decides to enter the GOP race. Then voters will see if she still wants to sling, wrestle, or try not to get dirty.