“Michele Bachmann does not have a strong record as a legislative strategist, and that’s never been her forte,” said Lawrence Jacobs, a University of Minnesota political science professor. “She says things that are kind of off the wall, but these are often calculated statements on her part, to register with conservative, grass-roots people, and that’s very hard for folks who are not grass-roots conservatives to understand,” he said. “Some of the things she says are zany and embarrassing to other Republicans, but that’s part of what has given her this authenticity.”"Calculated statements" -- like accusing your political opponents of "un-American values" or conjuring "death panels" out of thin air or retailing invented cost estimates for presidential travel -- confer "authenticity." I'm afraid the good professor has caught the zeitgeist.
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