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Michele Bachmann's rise: An interactive timeline

Click here to launch timeline.

Michele Bachmann needs no introduction. Or does she? Type Bachmann's name into Youtube and you'll have a day's worth of watching queued up before you. Mostly they are the notorious moments: gaffes, controversial proclamations and sparring with television news anchors.

These notorious moments are part of who Michele Bachmann is, and they are just about all she is to many Americans. Put all of that aside (a tall order, I know), and there is one hell of a life story there. Many people simply cannot relate to, or are deeply offended by, Bachmann's political activism and the evangelical Christian faith that informs it, but beginning just days after her graduation from Anoka High School, Bachmann has been exploding into one passion pursuit after another with a singular vision. Just about anybody can relate to a search for meaning.

It seems like the time is right for attempts at understanding Bachmann as a deeply influential politician rather than a cartoon character. We don't know what will happen to Bachmann's presidential campaign in coming days, weeks, and months; but we can be assured that, whatever happens, she will continue to inspire, confound, and churn out the stuff of headlines and viral videos.


Our Bachmann timeline is comprehensive, but it is not completist. It is meant to show the celebrity politician in three-dimensions. Want to learn something you didn't know about Bachmann? Uncheck the box next to "notorious moments" on the timeline and you'll be sure to.

This timeline is a gateway. We've linked to some of the best and most robust examinations of Bachmann's personal, political, and religious life.

Nerd note: We used ProPublica's fantastic TimelineSetter, a fun and elegant open source command-line utility that "bakes out" a very cool, very easy to use news app. MinnPost's Kevin Schaul and Kaeti Hinck were instrumental in making this thing work and look good.

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Comments (3)

I'm a bit confused about the blerp regarding Marcus' graduate studies.

Given that this is (yet another) Bachmann "hit" article, shall we assume MinnPost finds fault with the assertion that 'parents who can do so should delay full-time day care until into the fourth year of a child's life.'?

Anyone care to expound on that?

Personally, I think parents should plan to have mom or dad always be home with their kids until they enter grade school, and then, be available when they arrive home. I applaud those folks that I'm familiar with that do just that.

Let me guess, Mr Swift not a parent, since you don't speak from any personal experience here, but cite examples of others. Still an expert though.

This is a hit piece? It recites some facts of her adult life in a serial fashion with pictures. Only to a John Birch-wing Republican can that be construed as a hit job. The timeline didn't seem to work very well in my browser though.

By the way I like this article because I see that back in the 70s Bachmann was someone I would have liked. She was still an idealist who's mind wasn't locked in to a narrow, bigoted world.

OK, my browser was working better and I got all the way through. It does skew pretty negative in the latter entries. However, I say she skews negative and this is still merely a reporting of facts. Can't say I saw any innuendo in there. She's running for president. She's getting what she deserves.