“Bachmannistan” Exclusive Excerpt”
“Is Brett O’Donnell working for Mitt Romney?”
Michele asked Peter this remarkable, startling question amidst her tears and confusion during an hour plus phone call the evening of January 1, 2012. Mentally and physically exhausted from the inane 99 Iowa county tour that concluded only days ago, she had come to realize that her campaign was a shambles. She now no longer knew whom to trust or with what. The Iowa caucuses, in which she would come a humiliating sixth place, were two days away. The thrill of the Ames Straw Poll was but a distant, mocking memory; a million dollar Pyrrhic victory.
Waldron resisted the strong temptation to tell her “I told you so.” But he had told her, told both her and her husband at the same time. Had they thought he was making things up? Never known for overreacting, had they placated themselves by thinking Waldron was wound just a little too tightly this time? And yet the information he had given them could be checked, verified. Had they?
Worse: did they not want to know? Was the comfort of the bubble in which they had operated by now for months too secure to burst? Was a reality check simply beyond their ken? This agonizing phone call was the sound of scales falling, at least briefly, from Michele Bachmann’s eyes. . . .
So many things had fallen apart in her campaign that she was baffled. Instead of going on to New Hampshire and South Carolina, she was looking at her home state as a graveyard for her presidential ambitions. . . .
The phone call itself was enough for Waldron to reflect on the tumultuous months since he joined the campaign in July. He and others watched as those who ingratiated themselves to her froze out those who knew her far better. They made sure they, and they alone, were on the stupid bus that came to symbolize her diva complex and plain bad political advice. Those who rode with her, the boys on the bus, were the ones who were responsible for the disaster Bachmann for President had become.