The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

Let’s Just Hope No Candidate Calls Himself a ‘Son of Uncle Sam’


From one of the weirder Morning Jolts in a while – serial killers, and Blago, and entitlement crises, oh my! Serial killers, and Blago, and entitlement crises, oh my!

To MSM Folks Seeking Mini-Controversies, Bachmann is the New Palin

Er, really? The dominant political story of the week is whether Michele Bachmann meant to salute a serial killer? Twenty-four links to the story on Memeorandum late on a Monday night?

I’m ready for another vacation. The political world is sometimes too stupid to write about.

The Washington Times got the ball rolling with this short item.

Rep. Michele Bachmann kicked off her presidential campaign on Monday in Waterloo, Iowa, and in one interview surrounding the official event she promised to mimic the spirit of Waterloo’s own John Wayne.

The only problem, as one eagle-eyed reader notes: Waterloo’s John Wayne was not the beloved movie star, but rather John Wayne Gacy, the serial killer.

Mrs. Bachmann grew up in Waterloo, and used the town as the backdrop for her campaign announcement, where she told Fox News: “Well what I want them to know is just like, John Wayne was from Waterloo, Iowa. That’s the kind of spirit that I have, too.” (Someone has already posted the clip to YouTube under the name BachmannLovesGacy)

John Wayne, the movie legend, is in fact from Iowa and the John Wayne birthplace is a celebrated landmark — only it’s in Winterset, which is a nearly three hour drive away from Waterloo.

Gacy, though, had his first taste of the criminal life in Waterloo, where he lived for a short time, and where he had his first criminal conviction for an attempted homosexual assault, which landed him in prison for 18 months.”

The story was enough to get Talking Points Memo running to get a quote from the director of the John Wayne museum in Winterset, Iowa. Ready the Pulitzer, fellas!

It’s left to… sigh… Politico to observe that the movie star John Wayne’s parents lived in Waterloo for a while, so perhaps Bachmann had heard that bit of local trivia and was misstating it.

Doug Powers considers it a gaffe, and hopes Bachmann can avoid them a bit more, but notes, “I’d rather have somebody who doesn’t know where a movie star was born but who does know that massive debt spending is bad for an economy than the other way around.This won’t do any long term damage to Bachmann. History proves that an unintentional brush with John Wayne Gacy doesn’t preclude you from living in the White House.”

Here Powers links to a photo of former First Lady Rosalyn Carter with Gacy in 1978. Fascinating factoids: He was a Democratic Party precinct captain and during his trial, his lawyers listed the First Lady as a character witness.

Powers continues, “The point is that Bachmann is in Palin territory now — it doesn’t really matter what she says because the left will demonize it anyway. It was an interesting day, but move on and let them keep chattering about GOPers worshiping serial killers or whatever.”

I can hear it now: “Jim, why are you telling me about serial killers over breakfast?”

Tags: Michele Bachmann


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