ep. Michele Bachmann's (R-Minn.) presidential ambitions may be on the rise, but so is her tendency to commit embarrassing gaffes. This weekend, the Tea Party darling twice told audiences in New Hampshire that the shot "heard around the world in Lexington and Concord" was fired in their state. In fact, the famous Revolutionary War battle took place in Massachusetts. Bachmann later apologized via Facebook: "It was my mistake, Massachusetts is where they happened," she wrote. "New Hampshire is where they are still proud of it!" Will this error set her back? (Watch an ABC report about Bachmann's gaffe)
This will cost her in New Hampshire: The error already being called "the gaffe heard 'round the internet" won't impress "famously flinty" New Hampshire Republicans, says Robert Schlesinger at U.S. News and World Report. The group is "enormously self-serious about their role in the presidential nomination process" — and they hold the nation's crucial first primary. "Perhaps after Bachmann badly loses the New Hampshire primary she'll exhort her followers: 'Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!'"
"Michele Bachmann butchers American history in New Hampshire"
No, this will simply get people talking: Say what you like about this "bona fide" mistake, says Dave Weigel at Slate, it has got people buzzing about the 2012 hopeful. Politico's report on the goof already had 3,000 Facebook 'likes' by first thing Monday morning. That's a "token of Bachmann's ability to make news," and proof that "lots of liberal readers took time away from their weekends to gawk."
"Bachmann: New Hampshire's similar to Minnesota because 'we're a caucus state, also'"
Her past mistakes are even worse: In fairness to Bachmann, says The Economist, confusing New Hampshire with Massachusetts is "an easy mistake to make." It's her earlier, "astonishingly ignorant" gaffe — claiming that America's founding fathers "worked tirelessly until slavery was no more in the United States" — that was truly harmful. This "latest mangling of American history" is just more grist for the mill.
"The rot heard round the world"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Who are the real gay marriage bigots?
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Sorry Belle Knox, porn still oppresses women
- What the collapse of the Ming Dynasty can tell us about American decline
- Religious liberty should be a liberal value, too
- Watch The Daily Show mock Fox News' confused man-crush on Vladimir Putin
- Why is American internet so slow?
- Don't worry: World War III will almost certainly never happen
- Why states should stop limiting the alcohol content in your beer
- 10 things you need to know today: March 8, 2014
Subscribe to the Week