The XX Factor

Michele Bachmann’s Not-So-Fun Interview

A recent softball interview with Michele Bachmann conducted by the Christian Broadcasting Network garnered headlines because she suggested she could live with being stranded on a desert island with Keith Olbermann. But that was by far the least interesting aspect of a three-minute interview that was designed mainly to make CBN’s audience believe Bachmann was hand-picked by Jesus. Far weirder was the answer Bachmann gave when asked about her favorite music. She cited Bach as an all-time favorite, but said her favorite pop song is “Taking Care Of Business” by Bachman-Turner Overdrive.

Hey, all of that may be true, but it seems a tad impolitic to say so and invite speculation about one’s ego like that. If Hillary Clinton said her all-time favorite musician was George Clinton, Rush Limbaugh would be mentioning that once a week for as long as he could croak into a microphone.  I could conceivably see at least one Maureen Dowd column examining whether or not Hillary is narcissistic based on that information alone. In the sea of wacky stuff Bachmann says, though, this doesn’t really stand out as much more than a novelty. This interview is further proof, if only for her claim that her favorite food is celery.

But all the noise around food and music is just padding for the real point of this three-minute video, which is to remind viewers that CBN believes God is a Republican.  A great deal of time is spent on discussing Bachmann’s youth when she campaigned for Jimmy Carter.  Her explanation was that she thought Carter was on her team, being an evangelical Christian, but then learned the hard way that he’s not.  It may seem strange to drag this out now, but there’s been a battle brewing for years in the evangelical community, as more and more Christians break from the Christian right to take a stand on issues such as global warming .  Bullying them and guilt-tripping them back into the conservative fold is a big deal for the Christian right at this moment, and “innocent” and “fun” interviews such as this should be read in that light, particularly since one of the things Carter did to offend was speak seriously about conservation.

Correction, Nov. 30: This post originally misspelled Bachmann’s first name.