Minnesota GOP Representative Michele Bachmann has barely warmed her seat in office, but has declared herself a candidate for the U.S. presidential election in 2012. As a person born in Iowa, Ms. Bachmann decided to kick off her campaign in the state of her birth, touting her knowledge of the state as an asset when considering her for the GOP Presidential nomination.
That home-state familiarity took a monstrous hit on Sunday, when just prior to announcing her run in Waterloo, Iowa, she spoke to a Fox News correspondent.
The midwestern candidate was reported to quip " What I want them to know is that, just as John Wayne is from Waterloo, Iowa, that's the kind of spirit I have too." As was quickly pointed out by several news sources, the John Wayne of stage and film was indeed born in Iowa, (he moved with his parents to California as a toddler) but in Winterset, a 3 hour drive away.
The John Wayne who lived in Waterloo, Iowa, well that's John Wayne Gacy, murderer of 33 men and children and star of the Statesville Correctional Center's death chamber. He lived there with his wife as an adult and committed the first slew of his infamous crimes in Waterloo and served his time in nearby Anamosa State Prison.
So, Michele Bachmann made a boo-boo, and that really isn't that big of a deal. Everyone makes mistakes. The problem is, she repeated the same line to NBC's Kelly O'Donnell "I'm not pining for nostalgia back in the 50s and 60s, that isn't it. But that sensibility about how we were grounded here is so important. For instance, another American that was born in Waterloo was John Wayne. We were a very patriotic 'yay rah rah America' city and nation and I think that's what America's looking for again."
If I sound like I'm nitpicking here, do note that Michele Bachmann is from Waterloo, Iowa, and should have known that John Wayne the cowboy wasn't from there. After all, she's the one who stated that her meticulous attention to detail is the reason why my numerous American relatives should vote for her.
This is going to be an interesting election year.