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As Mitt Romney quietly smiles, the news of Michele Bachmann's comments on the conservative Jay Sekulow Live radio show yesterday continues through its course of loud, digital whispering across the internet. When asked about what people were telling her on the campaign trail, Bachmann mentioned the obvious concerns about jobs and the economy, but also said, "What people recognize is that there's a fear that the United States is in an unstoppable decline. They see the rise of China, the rise of India, the rise of the Soviet Union, and our loss militarily going forward."
Since the Soviet Union collapsed and formed into fifteen separate republics twenty years ago, Americans really shouldn't fear our former Cold War foe. But sarcasm aside, this is a "serious" presidential candidate who continues to make troubling statements and faux pas.
Running for president is a tough gig, and not everyone can be Oscar Wilde or Samuel Johnson all the time. But wishing Elvis a "happy birthday" on the anniversary of his death this week is almost an act of cultural heresy, if not a sin. The John Wayne geography mix-up can be glossed over, but thinking that the Revolutionary War battles of Lexington and Concord had taken place in New Hampshire, and now talking about fearing the Soviet Union (which you can see from Alaska) as if it were some kind of ploy to increase defense spending, has to give one pause.
Even Bachmann opponents must enjoy her presence in the race, as she provides entertainment that her boring fellow candidates just can't match. But these distractions don't serve anyone's best interests.