Political theater

Not since Jesse Ventura have we seen the kind of political theater that accompanies Rep. Michele Bachmann these days.

Today, she and her opponent, Rep. Elwyn Tinklenberg, are debating in the first half hour of MPR’s Midday.

The TV cameras are set up outside the studio…

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The reporters from TV, radio and newspapers are crammed into the Midday control room…

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Bachmann supporters waved signs at the back door of the News Cut World Headquarters — a dead-end street where there’s absolutely no traffic, by the way.

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After a group of them held a Bible reading in the lobby…

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Sent by the campaign, they provided the backdrop for the candidate meeting the people…

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The media didn’t have a Bible reading, but they may have been praying that Bachmann would say something “outrageous,” which is why they used to flock here when Jesse was on the air.

Just like old times

When the debate started…

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Gary Eichten asked about the Hardball comments in which Bachmann said the media should investigate the unAmerican wing of Congress. She said it’s a non-issue that only the media — not the people — care about. Tinklenberg countered that her view is “not credible.”

Here’s the debate:

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When the debate ended, both Bachmann and Tinklenberg left quickly, with every reporter and photographer in tow… leaving plenty of breathing room for the two candidates for the 2nd District seat.

By the way, a colleague reports the American flag was not folded properly when the supporters left.