Dan Rather this weekend said Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) is "for real" and that he can "imagine a scenario where she actually gets the Republican [presidential] nomination."
Maybe even more surprising, on the syndicated program bearing his name, Chris Matthews agreed (video follows with partial transcript and commentary):
CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: Dan, 60 percent of Iowa caucus goers call themselves evangelical Christians. My question: is Michele Bachmann got to jump in here and take the call of the wild here?
DAN RATHER: I don’t know if she’s got to. I think she will and it would be a mistake to underestimate her. This woman is for real, whether you agree with her politics or not. This is not Sarah Palin coming out of nowhere. She can run very well in Iowa. I can imagine a scenario where she actually gets the Republican nomination. But that's a long way down the line. Will she get in? I think the answer is yes. Will she do well in the early going? Again, I think the answer is yes. She has what the football coaches call breakaway potential, that is, if she gets in the open field, look out, because this woman is very articulate, she's pretty experienced, she’s smart. I'm not her campaign manager, but going after that Republican…
MATTHEWS: That would be a breakaway if you took that job.
RATHER: That would be a breakaway. But with that roughly third of the people who supported either Trump or Huckabee - I'm surprised Huckabee didn't get in. He had a very good chance of going all the way. But with those people, Michele Bachmann can be dynamite.
After the Washington Post’s Michael Gerson put in his two cents, Matthews, who has been highly critical of Bachmann, surprisingly agreed:
MATTHEWS: I’m with Dan, by the way. I find her 25 kids, foster children in her family. She is a real Christian in terms of her view of things, and she’s not somebody that has to wave the wace card, the race card like Trump did. She doesn't have to play tricks. She’s one of them.
Seems odd coming from a man that has regularly referred to Bachmann as a zombie. Makes you wonder what was in the water at the studio.
On the other hand, as we've learned from experience, liberal commentators saying anything good about a possible Republican presidential candidate is a Trojan horse.
We're going to have to look inside that mouth to make sure it's not a trap.