Ten years ago, when she was seeking education reform in Minnesota and running for the state Senate, Michele Bachmann often used the title “Dr. Bachmann,” reports Mother Jones.
She no longer seems to use that title, at least in public.
But the magazine found several instances in the late 1990s and early 2000s when she did and says:
“Dr. Bachmann” might have given the activist a bit more gravitas, but it was not an appropriate title. Bachmann received a J.D. — the standard law school degree — from Oral Roberts University, and an LL.M. in tax law from William & Mary in 1988. The LL.M. does count as a postdoctoral degree, as Bachmann says, because it came after she had received a “terminal degree” — that is, a degree that can’t be directly improved upon. But while J.D. (juris doctor) has the word “doctor” in it, it is not accepted practice for J.D.’s to refer to themselves as “Dr.”
For basic law school graduates like Bachmann, “‘Esquire’ is the preferred term,” says James Warren, an assistant in the dean’s office at UCLA Law School. Nor does doing postdoctoral research bring with it any extra titles. “It’s not like you’ve received another degree — it’s like a fellowship,” explains Zoe Fonseca-Kelly, chair of the board of directors of the National Postdoctoral Association. Rather, postdocs revert to whatever degree they had previously earned once they’ve finished their research.
Bachmann and her campaign did not respond to the magazine’s request for comment. The story also mentions some of the other apparent Bachmann inconsistencies floating around:
This isn’t the only instance of Bachmann exaggerating her résumé. She continues to call herself a “tax attorney” or “tax litigation attorney” even though, according to the state of Minnesota, she is not currently authorized to practice law in the state. In an effort to prove her bipartisan appeal, she has stated that Minnesota Democrats squeezed her out of her old Senate district and put her in a new, liberal-leaning one — but the districts were drawn up by the courts, and her new district actually leaned red.
On occasion, she has also stretched the truth about her foster children (she had 23) to make a political point. In a 2008 interview with Politico, she noted that she was feeling the squeeze from high gas prices because she has such a large family. “Energy will be the big focus right now,” she said. “Every weekend now when I go home, I will go to the grocery store, I’ll buy food for the family. We have five kids and 23 foster kids that we raise. So I go to the grocery store and buy a lot of food.” The catch? She didn’t have any foster children in 2008; her permit to take in foster children had expired in 2000 and she had taken in her last child, a teenage girl, in 1998.