The Washington Post’s The Fix blog opines that all the talk about migraines and makeup may actually be good for Congresswoman Michele Bachmann’s presidential campaign.
The story says:
While the stories are clearly aimed at slowing Bachmann’s momentum, it seems equally likely that they will boomerang on her attackers and actually strengthen her current position in the 2012 presidential race.
“That she remains poised in the face of such petty attacks and/or jujitsu’s them into opportunities all while staying on message in a happy warrior posture … speaks volumes to her character and is refreshing in an arena awash in negativity and incivility, whether or not one is with her on policy,” said Republican strategist Mary Matalin.
First, they make her a more empathetic figure in the eyes of Republican primary voters.
Remember that Bachmann is not a terribly well known commodity nationally yet and the image of a woman struggling with migraines — a condition that afflicts more than 30 million people in the U.S. (including three times as many women as men) — is a decidedly sympathetic one.
That could, of course, change if there is more to the migraine story than we currently know. But, at the moment the facts are that Bachmann gets migraines and she is able to deal with them thanks to prescription medication. That’s a good thing, not a bad one for Bachmann’s presidential hopes.
Second, with the makeup story in particular, Bachmann is able to use it to remind voters that she is the only woman in the race and deride the attacks as, if not downright sexist, the sort of thing that female politicians have to deal with that men simply don’t.
And it diverts attention:
Attacking Bachmann on more personal matters like migraines and makeup also distract from a deeper examination of her record in Congress and past controversial public statements that could well raise serious doubts in the minds of voters about her readiness to be president.
(Former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty, for his part, has started to attack Bachmann on the substance of her record; “These are really serious times, and there hasn’t been somebody who went from the U.S. House of Representatives to the presidency, I think, in over a hundred years, and there’s a reason for that,” Pawlenty said in an interview on CNN. Of course, Pawlenty also waded into the migraine debate.)