Over the past several weeks, 6th District Congresswoman Michele Bachmann has undergone a remarkable transformation from a noted political gadfly to a serious and leading contender for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.
A new Star Tribune poll shows Bachmann with a huge lead in Iowa.
But the New Republic (a left-leaning publication) says things are likely to get more difficult for Bachmann from here on out:
[N]ow that Bachmann is the real deal, her candidacy is about to endure its toughest moments yet—including intensified scrutiny of her background and character (which is already very much under way), unrealistic expectations for her candidacy, a possible existential threat from Governor Rick Perry, and GOP elite misgivings about her electability.
On that note, four days after reports surfaced of Bachmann's debilitating migraine headaches, pundits are still debating whether voters should be concerned. Herman Cain joined several other GOP presidential hopefuls in declaring Bachmann's migraines a "non-issue" Thursday—leaving Tim Pawlenty as the only candidate who has said otherwise.
Meanwhile, a New York Times opinion piece from a fellow migraine sufferer says the real issue is what kind of medication Bachmann is taking to control her condition. And an editorial in the Chicago Tribune calls the original Daily Caller article that raised the whole issue of Bachmann's migraines a "cheap shot" against the candidate.
With growing speculation that Texas Gov. Rick Perry may join the 2012 Republican race, a prominent GOP fundraiser penned an op-ed piece for Politico dissing Bachmann's record and proffering Perry as an equally conservative but more experienced alternative.
I think we all knew this was coming: a group of costumed gay rights activists stormed the Bachmann family's Christian counseling clinic in Lake Elmo on Thursday and unleashed the latest in a string of "glitter bomb" attacks. (Read an explanation of glitter bombing here.) Deeming themselves "gay barbarians"—a riff on husband Marcus Bachmann's one-time reference to homosexuals as "barbarians" who "need to be educated"—the group recorded their exploits with photos and video.
(For those not familiar with the controversy, Marcus Bachmann, Michele's husband, runs a counseling business that offers "reparative therapy," whereby counselors attempt to "convert" homosexuals to heterosexuality. The practice has been widely discredited among psychologists.)
Finally, a Wall Street Journal guest columnist says the media wrongfully tried to slap an "anti-Catholic" label on Bachmann because of her association with a controversial church.