Crazy Is Her Brand Name

Judson Berger at Fox News has an interesting profile of Michele Bachmann. She cultivates her reputation for bizarre public behavior to manage her political career:

She called for an expose to root out members of Congress who are “anti-America.” She gave President George W. Bush a public hug and a kiss so famously awkward one paper called it the “death grip.” She claimed to know of a secret plan to partition Iraq and carve out a “terrorist safe haven zone,” and then backed off the statement.

And then she won re-election.

Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann has shown an uncanny knack for infuriating critics with sometimes off-the-wall behavior and comments, all the while advancing her own political career.

Minnesota politicos say the Republican congresswoman, having fended off perhaps her toughest challenge last year, could hold on to her seat indefinitely — thanks in part to the conservative makeup of her district.

But Bachmann, a lightning rod of the left, also may be poised to run for governor or senator, according to the political chatter. Either way, the longer Bachmann stays in office, the more she seems to rile her opponents nationwide with a style some call genuine, but others call clueless.

“For what pisses off the Democrats, it really energizes that conservative base she has,” said Lawrence Jacobs, a political professor at the University of Minnesota. “This is not a strategic politician. This is a movement conservative. She’s a true believer.”

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