Liz Smith: Michele Bachmann — Rolling Stone Gathers No Moss Uncovering the Woman Who Would Be President

Presidential candidate Michele Bachmann

And more from our Liz: “Game of Thrones” agonies … Richard Burton, a star at last? … in synch with Esther Williams

MICHELE BACHMANN is the champion to those tens of millions of Americans who have read the ‘Left Behind’ books, the apocalyptic works of Christian fiction that posit an elaborate fantasy in which all true believers are whisked off to heaven … here on Earth meanwhile, the guilty are bent to the will of a marauding Satan, who appears in the guise of a smooth-talking, handsome, educated, pro-government, superficially pacifist, international politician — basically, Barack Obama.”

That’s Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi, writing about Republican presidential aspirant Michele Bachmann. This is one sensational and scary profile. It’s so good, I think, that Rolling Stone should have been very brave, saved Katy Perry for another month, and put Bachmann on the cover.

Taibbi notes, “The secret of Bachmann’s success is that every time you laugh at her, she gets stronger.” Once upon a time, that was the secret of Sarah Palin’s success, but now that Mrs. Palin has come to look like an empty pair of Manolos, it is Bachmann who could actually wrest the presidency from Barack Obama. Taibbi writes that no matter how much you find out about Bachmann, one is never sure if she feels divinely inspired or if it is just a great big con job. “Whatever she is, she’s no joke … while Romney and Pawlenty battle over who is the more ‘viable’ boring white guy, Bachmann could swallow the Tea Party vote whole.”

The author concludes: “It could happen.” (Bachmann as prez.) “She has  found the flaw in the American Death Star. She is a television camera’s dream, a threat to do or say something insane at any time, the ultimate reality show protagonist.”

I know. It’s Friday and you wanted to prepare to get some rest and maybe hear about mindless celeb comings and goings. Me too. Then I read this damn issue of Rolling Stone. And I’m not laughing.

* * *

PRESIDENT OBAMA announced that by summer 2012, more than 30,000 U.S. soldiers will return from Afghanistan — the beginning of a gradual withdrawal from that no-win situation.

The Left says “not enough”; the Right says, “too much.”  This means that like Goldilocks, Obama’s calculation is probably “just right.” But when one is president, there’s really no pleasing anybody. Who’d want this job?!

Oh, right — Mrs. Bachmann.

* * *

WHEN LAST we saw “Game of Thrones,” the dragons had been hatched and were as cute as could be. (One assumes as they grow up they’ll be less cuddly.) “Thrones” ended its first-season reign on HBO last Sunday. It won’t be back until spring of next year. I believe filming on season 2 begins next month. It will be an even more expensive endeavor, now that the fantasy aspects of the series are developing. Lots of CGI.

HBO has stuck faithfully to the George R.R. Martin novels. So much so, that fans of the series who have not read the books are still in shock over the death of Sean Bean (Lord Stark) which happened in the next-to-last episode. Some people were so upset they vowed never to watch “Game of Thrones” again. Please. Everybody’s hooked. The show pulls in an average of eight million viewers per episode. HBO is full of confidence that — just as with “The Sopranos”— fans will wait patiently for the next season, and accept all manner of twists and turns. (Remember Adriana’s horrible death in “The Sopranos?)

* * *

I WAS surprised to read the list of the latest batch of celebs to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. No, no –not that I objected in any way to Jennifer Lopez, Jennifer Aniston, Mariska Hargitay, Valerie Bertinelli, Vin Diesel,  Scarlett Johansson, Kate Winslet, Boyz II Men, or David Foster. But it was stunning to me that Richard Burton, the great actor, was finally receiving his star —more than 20 years after his death.

I wonder if they managed to place him anywhere near Elizabeth Taylor?

* * *

RECENTLY, Turner Classic Movies did one of its day-long tributes to a grand star of Hollywood’s Golden Age. The star that day (Star of the Month, actually) was swimming-queen Esther Williams. As TCM’s Robert Osborne pointed out, no other professional athlete who went into movies, achieved success on a scale with Esther — not even Johnny “Tarzan” Weissmuller. She really was MGM’s golden goose. Or its glamorous floatation device.

And it seems that Esther’s superb talent — synchronized swimming — is making a comeback as the latest fitness trend. Now there are swim clubs across the country, and celebrities such as Kate Moss have taken it up — Miss Moss insists she has never been in better shape.

So don’t giggle anymore when you come across one of Esther’s old Technicolor extravaganzas as she rises from a pool, glistening wet, every hair in place. Just look at that body, and realize how she got it: swimming in sync.

19 comments so far.

  1. avatar D C says:

    Re: Bachmann== the irony here is that to Bible scholars, SHE looks more like the antichrist and Obama does.  What is laughable is that all of the people who are seriously thinking Obama is the antichrist haven’t realized yet that this means THEY were “left behind” so all their faith was for naught. 

    Hey, let Bachmann have the office.  Let her go in ideas blazing just like Obama did and find exactly what he found — that without a senate and house that will work with you, nothing is going to get done and all of your high hopes and dreams will also wash down the tubes.  Then I can get that bumper sticker for MY car — “How’s all that hope and change workin’ out for ya?”

    • avatar D C says:

      … THAN Obama does

    • avatar blueelm says:

      I like to hope if that travesty were unleashed on us something in the American spirit would fight it. But I’ll be making arrangements to live overseas for a few years too. I’m hoping the Republicans come to their senses and stop catering to the lowest denominator, choosing some one with some kind of reasonable forward thinking approach to the problems our very very very bad leaders got us into.

      I’m also considering moving to New Zealand.

  2. avatar Jay Gentile says:

    Matt Taibbi has gone paranoid crazy. There is no way that unhinged lunatic will ever draw in enough independents, centrists, democrats to offset the number of votes lost by the krist kult whack jobs that form the base of today’s GOP.

    • avatar O E says:

      All that fantasy “left behind” crap is more of the fear-inducing religous dogma to keep stagnant the ability to think freely in some people who believe in a “god” that is so damn mean that he created man and woman, put temptation on their path to give them the opportunity to sin so then he could punish them forever.  It’s incredible that after so many millenia, there are still people around who haven’t evolved enough to realize when they’re being dupped by stories of heaven and hell.  They live the hell of ignorance and fear by their own choice.  They follow the teachings of religions that drive hate like a joyride and induce humans to kill each other in the name of their god, because therein lies their salvation. How stupid can this be!

  3. avatar Mr. Wow says:

    Dear Jay…

    ANYTHING can happen. 

    In the case of Bachmann, probably not.  Then again, when I cast my vote for Obama, I thiought: “Nah, even today, they’ll never allow a black man in the White House.”  

    Yet  it happened–a good thing, in my opinion (despite my bitching about him)   But….bad things happen too.

  4. avatar Bonnie O says:

    I wonder why Richard Burton was not given a “Hollywood star” years ago?  Was there some sort of conspiracy against him by the Hollywood elite at that time.   Perhaps he declined the invitation?  Perplexing.

    As for Congresswoman Bachmann …. she is rising fast in the polls,  Too soon to tell if she can make an authentic run for the Presidency … a rare occurence for a member of the House to seek the presidency.  However, since she is gaining in name recognition, there will be more scrutiny by both the media and those in the GOP.  She speaks well, is intelligent and has the ability raise funds.  Perhaps a formidable candidate.

    • avatar Mr. Wow says:

      Dear Bonnie…Formidable, indeed.  And charismatic to her fans. Not terribly intelligent.  But smarts are overrated.  We’ve had some pretty dumb presidents.  She is a self-made woman, I’ll say that for her.

      My gut feeling is Romney Vs. Obama.  But again—my gut feeling was that I was wasting my vote on O, because the country was still too bigoted (even the so-called liberals) to elect a man of color.   So, can’t go by my gut. 

      It’ll be interesting.

      • avatar Bonnie O says:

        It is still early for the GOP to settle upon one candidate.  I thought, however, that since Romney is the definite front-runner that he would be the nominee.  However, I am hearing from others in the GOP about John Huntsman.  I must admit that I know almost nothing about the ambassador.  The “talk” that I am hearing is all positive and “upbeat”.

        I do believe the election is going to a referendum on the policies of President Obama …. which is not unusual for an incumbent.  Yet, if the GOP can rally around a nominee who generates some excitement,  their chances of winning will improve by bringing out folks to vote for someone versus voting against someone.  If the GOP is able to consolidate their party, conservatives, social conservatives and business, with the Tea Party Activists and with the Independents, then Obama will indeed be in jeopardy of losing.

        Of course, that is my hope.  I will be interested in hearing more about John Huntsman.

      • avatar Bonnie O says:

        postscript -
        Mr. Wow -  Even though I did not vote for the President, I too took pride in the fact that America elected a man of color to the Presidency.  This nation has progressed a long way towards equality and I do believe that those enclaves of racism have been diminished… and though there are still noisemakers from that segment of our society, their impact and power has dwindled.

        Both political parties have had to deal with the politically active racists who joined first one party – the Dems – and after the Civil Rights Bill was passed, many moved into the GOP.  They thought because Goldwater and others were opposed to the bill … not on moral grounds… but on constitutional grounds, that their racist leanings would be welcomed.  For several decades the GOP has had to deal with those new members to our party and to our surprise we converted quite a few into more mellowed politicans.  Yet lurking in each party still remain those who see each person first by skin color and then by gender … each specific sometimes generating an unfounded bias.  We can all celebrate that those who promote hatred in our society are not growing in number but quite the opposite. 

        It is within each of us to know the difference between disagreement and disparagement.  The racism accusation is tossed around too freely by the politically active in order to make their opponent appear more heinous or their cause more just.  It is the unfortunate consequence of our nation growing out of a racist founding that we, today, witness political hyperbole used to define opponets as racist because, as a nation, we have accepted the premise that to be known as a racist is to be a social outcast.

      • avatar Count Snarkula says:

        @Bonnie O. Nobody to run with any interest. A socially liberal, and financially conservative R that was cool and electable could have turned this Presidency into a Carter/Bush 41 one term. But you guys got nothing.

      • avatar Baby Snooks says:

        The problem with Romney is the problem that was there in 2008.  He was governor of what most consider a very liberal state.  And there is the matter of his being a Mormon which I have never really understood although Mormons are still considred some sort of cult by many in this country.  Which will also be a problem for Huntsman. Who quite honestly is probably the worst of the lot. He would take us back to the days of the Robber Barons. 

        I suspect Michelle Bachman is really hoping to become the “running mate” of whoever wins the nomination. And probably hoping to be the “running mate” of Rick Perry. Who apparently is indeed going to announce. During his “Revival” on August 6th which may explain her “religious rhetoric” which in the end will do both of them in.  Unless of course we have problems in Florida. And the Supreme Court again “selects” the president for us. 

      • avatar Count Snarkula says:

        Uh, Baby, Utah has never in history been considered a “liberal” state. Much less a “very liberal” state. They are as backwaters as the rest of the USA unfairly considers the entire South (including you and I). As I am doing with Utah. I, also, really hope for a Perry/Bachmann, Bachmann/Perry ticket. Though not for the same reason as you. I will love it for the laughs. Wonder who will use the words “Colored” or “Negro” or “Homosexual Agenda” or “Baby Killers” first. The Count must design a bingo card. As that sounds about the level we will deal with next year.

      • avatar Count Snarkula says:

        Oh and one more thing Baby…not to sound like Cindy Adams, but I have said that Rick is already in this and has been for months. The announcement is a strategically timed thing. Remember, kiddies (OK I get to channel a little of Cindy), The Count told you here weeks ago! ! !

      • avatar Jane H says:

        not related to the current topic Mr. Wow…. but I thought of you this weekend… will you be making a trip to the altar?

  5. avatar Maggie W says:

    I don’t believe Michele Bachmann speaks well at all.   She usually speaks off cuff and that usually reveals she is not the sharpest tool in the GOP shed.  During the “debate”, she stayed true to her script and performed well .  But when discussing the military, she said she would always ” communicate with her commanders – in chief” before taking any action.   Huh ??  

    When the dust settles, it probably will be Romney, and  he will have to make a big decision.  Ask Bachmann to be his VP and keep the Tea Party vote or go with Rubio and go for the Hispanic vote.   If Rick Perry jumps in late this summer ( as predicted) , that will really stir the pot.  Every Bubba in the South will love Rick…. well, at first glance. 

    Now
    Burton is getting a star after all these years?   Amazing! There must be a story in there somewhere !

  6. avatar Lila says:

    Game of Thrones – a very good-looking show, but sadly, I really don’t have the time to devote to following its intricacies. Maybe one day I will catch it on DVD… with Cliffs Notes in hand…

  7. avatar Lila says:

    OH, Liz… if any of the crazies win the election, let’s move to Costa Rica.

  8. avatar D C says:

    By the way… speaking of idiots running for President… does anybody remember that Rick Perry threated to take his toys and start his own nation a while back…

    “”There’s a lot of different scenarios,” Perry said. “We’ve got a great union. There’s absolutely no reason to dissolve it. But if Washington continues to thumb their nose at the American people, you know, who knows what might come out of that. But Texas is a very unique place, and we’re a pretty independent lot to boot.” 

    I cannot believe nobody’s mentioned this yet.