Thursday, July 21, 2011


New York magazine's John Heilemann doesn't quite go so far as to ascribe the Michele Bachmann migraine story to Tim Pawlenty's campaign, but he leaves only a few dots unconnected:

The story about Michele Bachmann's migraines was not the product of a "liberal media conspiracy." Instead, it was a "calculated hit piece" by one of Bachmann's rivals for the Republican presidential nomination.

That's the view emphatically propounded by John Heilemann on Morning Joe today....

JOHN HEILEMANN: This is a very simple story. The initial story appeared in the Daily Caller, which is a conservative website. This was a calculated hit piece by one of Michele Bachmann's rivals in the Republican field. I don't know which one, but there is no question but that is what happened. This was a calculated leak of opposition research to The Daily Caller. This is not a liberal media conspiracy.

SCARBOROUGH: It's Tucker Carlson [head of Daily Caller].

HEILEMANN: ... I'm not accusing Tim Pawlenty's people of doing this at all, but the fact that Tim Pawlenty jumped on it in the way that he did yesterday, at a minimum points out exactly what the stakes are here....

So who could "the former aide" repeatedly quoted in the Caller piece be? Could it be Ron Carey, the former chief of staff whose denunciation of Bachmann was gleefully reported by the Caller last month?

Minnesota Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann's former Chief of Staff Ron Carey authored an incendiary op-ed published in the Des Moines Register Tuesday.

Carey wrote that the Republican presidential candidate is "without any leadership experience or real results from her years in office." ...

"It is clear to me that while Tim Pawlenty possesses the judgment, the demeanor, and the readiness to serve as president, Michele Bachmann decidedly does not," Carey wrote.

As chief of staff, the congressional and campaign offices that Carey managed were "wildly out of control," he wrote....

And now, pathetically, Pawlenty loses his nerve after briefly trying to work the story:

Retreating from a tough attack on a rival, Tim Pawlenty is backtracking on his suggestion that Michele Bachmann's migraines may disqualify her from the presidential race.

"I think it's mostly a sideshow," Pawlenty told FOX News on Wednesday, when asked about the story. "I've observed Congresswoman Bachmann. I've never seen her have a medical condition or impairment that would seem to be a concern."

But earlier in the day, Pawlenty became the first and only presidential candidate to directly go after Bachmann on the issue.

"All of the candidates I think are going to have to be able to demonstrate they can do all of the job all of the time," he told reporters on Wednesday."There's no real time off in that job." ...

Tim, you're pathetic. Stop pretending to be a back-alley eye-gouger when you don't really have the guts to fight at all.

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