WASHINGTON POST: Those comments, made to Chris Matthews on “Hardball” last Friday, alleging that Barack Obama held “anti-American” views immediately lit up the blogosphere, energized the campaign of former Blaine Mayor Elwyn Tinklenberg (great name!) and turned Bachmann’s race from an afterthought into one of the most high profile House races in the country. Tinklenberg has raised more than $800,000 in the aftermath of Bachmann’s comments and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee communications director Jen Crider has called this a “$1 million mistake” on the part of the Republican incumbent.
The DCCC, sensing opportunity, began airing an ad hitting Bachmann on her opposition to government regulation of the financial industry — the leading edge of a seven-figure television buy that runs through election day. And, the Cook Political Report — one of the most highly respected handicappers of Congressional races and The Fix alma mater — moved the race (subscription required) from likely Republican to toss up yesterday.
Of the race, Cook House editor David Wasserman wrote: “Bachmann’s comments likely changed the complexion of her reelection race overnight and helped to turn the race into even more of a referendum on her.”[…] Not only did she commit a major blunder but she also did it at the worst possible time and in one of the worst election cycles in recent memory. In past years, national Republicans might have been able to bail Bachmann out. But, the money just isn’t there this time around. Bachmann is on her own — a very lonely place to be. MORE