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Michele Bachmann does a drive-by at Iowa State Fair

August 12, 2011|By James Oliphant
  • Michele Bachmann (not pictured) orders a corn dog at the Iowa State Fair, surrounded by a throng of media.
Michele Bachmann (not pictured) orders a corn dog at the Iowa State Fair,… (James Oliphant / Los Angeles…)

Reporting from Des Moines, Iowa — A day before the Ames Straw Poll in Iowa, Michele Bachmann seemed to traverse the line from politician to full-blown political celebrity.

Careening from event to event in central Iowa, Bachmann arrived for a scheduled speech at the Iowa State Fair 30 minutes late. She then spoke for just three minutes before departing, with many who had been waiting in the baking August sun audibly registering their disappointment.

The Minnesota congresswoman’s rivals for theGOP nomination, such as Mitt Romney and Tim Pawlenty, had spoken at length at the so-called “soapbox” at the fair sponsored by the Des Moines Register. But Bachmann seemed pressed for time.

Photos: Scenes From Iowa -Republicans at the State Fair

In her brief remarks to the excited spillover crowd, she repeated her standing promise to make President Obama “a one-term president.”

“This is where Barack Obama got his start and this where he is going to get his end,” she shouted. She spoke of her “titanium spine,” running her hand down her back for good measure.

Bachmann praised Friday’s ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals in Atlanta that struck down the requirement in the Democratic healthcare bill that all Americans purchase health insurance, and as she celebrated the ruling, the crowd roared.

She urged her supporters to travel to Ames on Saturday to vote in the Straw Poll—and then, suddenly, she wrapped up her speech, saying she was going to meet voters. But she was gone from the scene in a matter of minutes, escorted by state troopers and chased by a throng of photographers and camera crews. She and her husband, Marcus, boarded a golf cart and coasted down the fair’s main drag, finally stopping at a Hot Dog on A Stick stand.

She was mobbed by cameras as she ordered a corn dog and then sat in the cart and signed autographs for several minutes.

Then she was off, meaning that she had spent much less time at the fair than non-candidateSarah Palin, who was there for much of the day.

But then, Bachmann had two more events to go to Friday, an engagement in West Des Moines and a final rally in Ames before the Straw Poll. And in another sign of her current mega-wattage, she’s tentatively scheduled to appear on all five of the major Sunday morning news talk shows this weekend.

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