Rep. Michelle Bachmann screwed the pooch on Chris Matthews Hardball last week suggesting that the press investigate the Congresspeople who were Anti-American. She was also concerned that Obama himself was Anti-American. (Anti-American members of Congress?) That charge started a deluge of donations for her opponent, Elwyn Tinklenberg, of over $1.4 million cash being now used for advertising. Previously Tinlenberg had raised $533,000.
Bachmann, MN-6, had a 13 point lead before the appearance on Hardball. This week she was polled at 3 points down. Yesterday she issued a new commercial.
“or we can choose can choose Freedom and Liberty country <>..the blessings of Liberty to remain for our great country.”
In the furor that followed her original comment the content of this response deserved attention on every major news organization. As you can see it was reviewed on Hardball and posted to YouTube by Talking Point Memo. Yet I haven’t heard a broadcast journalist comment on the explicit message that Barack Obama would sacrifice Liberty and Freedom. This campaign ad frames itself around that choice. McCain equals Freedom, Obama equals a loss of Freedom.
This comment seems to be nearly as big a news item as the original. It is a fanatical charge and deserving of widespread coverage. It is an example of framing that may or may not work for voters. It is a dirty tactic that if used by a Democrat would bring a 4-5 day news cycle. The framing of the race as choosing between Liberty and Freedom or not is certainly news worthy.