Bachmann is still doing everything the boys do, but as a female candidate she endures indignities that are foreign to your average male pol. Yet she takes it all in stride.
In a joint interview with Bachmann last year, then-Sen. Arlen Specter lectured her to “act like a [lady]” when she strenuously disagreed with him on a point. A recent Rolling Stone diatribe by Matt Taibbi called her “completely batshit crazy” with a “retro-Stepford image.” MSNBC’s Chris Matthews has accused her of being “hypnotized” on the air and has referred to the three-term House member and former tax attorney as a “balloon head.”
And over the weekend, Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace asked Bachmann if she was a “flake.” She was not pleased. “It seemed very insulting,” she told me. “But he did give me a call and he did offer me an apology.” (Wallace also posted a video apologizing and explaining why he asked the question.)
As for Matthews, she has received no apologies, but she is unfazed. Unlike Palin, who frequently decries the “lamestream media,” Bachmann doesn’t attack the attackers. “The media is what the media is,” she says. “It’s part of the territory. A person has to accept that there are difficult questions and unfair questions and it is a part of this process and it is what it is.”