Politico Panel Vilifies Bachmann on 'Morning Joe,' Calls Outgoing Congresswoman 'Fringe' 'Celebrity Politician'

When Politico isn’t busy sending editors to an off-the-record chat with a potentially perjurious U.S. Attorney General, it spends its time mocking a retiring conservative legislator.

A panel of reporters from the Washington tabloid ganged up on Michele Bachmann on Thursday’s Morning Joe, blasting the Minnesota congresswoman as a “celebrity politician” who will become “irrelevant to politics the moment she steps out of public office.”

Executive editor Jim VandeHei, together with reporters Mike Allen and Maggie Haberman, spent several minutes vilifying Bachmann after co-host Willie Geist asked about the congresswoman’s political career post-retirement.

VandeHei quickly launched a tirade against the popular Tea Party figure:

GEIST: First of all, how do you define the fringe? I take it, based on the timing of the story, you put Michele Bachmann in that group?

VANDEHEI: I think we can safely put her into that group. You know, you think about all the things we were lamenting about the age of the new media. It was a creation of these bombastic, celebrity politicians and we thought this would be a dominant strain of politics. The truth is the political market seems to be self-correcting. All of these people who became celebrities in a bombastic way – Sarah Palin, Herman Cain, Allen West, now Michele Bachmann – have all been wiped out of politics.

VandeHei wasn’t finished, implying that Bachmann was merely “a celebrity on Fox” that most voters find “repulsive” and leaders in Congress hate. VandeHei obviously chose to selectively ignore Bachmann’s popularity among conservatives.

Allen at least recognized that Bachmann will continue to be “a popular speaker” and “a big fundraiser” after her retirement, a strong likelihood given Bachmann’s sizable following in the conservative movement.

But Haberman was having none of it, berating Bachmann’s campaign for president as “going for the gold right away,” a move that “accelerated her ultimate crash out of public office.” VandeHei then closed the segment with a parting shot at the congresswoman:

VANDEHEI: And once you lose the public platform, you lose a heck of a lot of power. Sarah Palin is not nearly as relevant today as she was two years ago. In fact, she’s almost irrelevant to the daily debate about politics. Michele Bachmann – yea, she might get speeches. She might get a Fox contract. She’s going to be irrelevant to politics the moment she steps out of public office.

HABERMAN: Yes. Soon.

VANDEHEI: Soon.

Of course, we’ve expected such vicious character attacks on Bachmann from the liberal media, as NewsBuster’s Geoff Dickens illustrated this morning. No doubt, reporters will enjoy the opportunity to take their parting shots at Bachmann over the next several months.

See the relevant transcript below:


MSNBC
Morning Joe
05/30/13
6:30 a.m. Eastern

WILLIE GEIST: Jim, let me start with you. You’ve got a story up, pegged off Michele Bachmann announcing that she will not run for re-election, that you’re calling ‘the fall of the conservative fringe’. First of all, how do you define the fringe? I take it, based on the timing of the story, you put Michele Bachmann in that group?

JIM VANDEHEI: I think we can safely put her into that group. You know, you think about all the things we were lamenting about the age of the new media. It was a creation of these bombastic, celebrity politicians and we thought this would be a dominant strain of politics. The truth is the political market seems to be self-correcting. All of these people who became celebrities in a bombastic way – Sarah Palin, Herman Cain, Allen West, now Michele Bachmann – have all been wiped out of politics. [They] have essentially been kicked out by voters or knowing voters were eventually going to reject them. And so there are limitations to just being a celebrity on Fox or just being a celebrity with the grassroots. Most voters find that stuff repulsive and don't find it the type of politics they want and leaders in Congress hate it. These guys are impossible to control for leadership.

MIKE ALLEN: Interestingly enough, our guys say that Republicans now have an improved chance of holding this district now that she is gone. But she got what she wanted. She has this celebrity. She will be forever a popular speaker, a big fundraiser. And we have another piece up by Alex Burns, a clever story about the playbook for doing this. Go on TV. Say something bombastic and get tacked attacked on the left. This is the playbook that Allen West and all those guys have been following. Alex calls these guys the Politico equivalent of a ‘stock market bubble.’

GEIST: Gets you a lot of attention, raises you a lot of money but you have a short shelf life on something like that. Maggie?

MAGGIE HABERMAN: A short shelf life, and especially if you’re like Bachmann, and you end up basically going for the gold right away and running for president. That’s part of why she burned out the way she did.    

ALLEN: But running for higher office is a big part of the playbook, right?

HABERMAN: It can be a big part of the playbook. In this case, I think it accelerated her ultimate crash out of public office.

VANDEHEI: And once you lose the public platform, you lose a heck of a lot of power. Sarah Palin is not nearly as relevant today as she was two years ago. In fact, she’s almost irrelevant to the daily debate about politics. Michele Bachmann – yea, she might get speeches. She might get a Fox contract. She’s going to be irrelevant to politics the moment she steps out of public office.

HABERMAN: Yes. Soon.

VANDEHEI: Soon.