The only thing missing is the scissors as Michele Bachmann literally ran away from CNN reporter Dana Bash who tried to ask her about her claims of the lavish White House lifestyle engaged in by President Obama and his family. At last week's CPAC Bachmann took her opportunity on a very big stage to bitterly excoriate the lavish lifestyle of this White House, citing a new book that tallies its cost at an 'astronomical' $1.4 billion. With seething contempt she enumerated the royal perks enjoyed by the Obamas - five Air Force One 'chefs', a personal dogwalker for Bo, and two on-call movie theater projectionists. "I don't mean to be petty but can't they just press play?" she intoned.
“A new book is out talking about the perks and the excess of the $1.4-billion-a-year presidency that we’re paying for,” Bachmann said in the speech. “And this is a lifestyle that is one of excess.”
Even if any of these claims were true, who cares? But it turns out that this book and its claims are completely fabricated and based on nothing more than a similar book published years ago that tallied the costs of the Bush Presidency.
But it won’t come as much of a shock to any Bachmannphile to learn that some of the claims she made in the speech are the opposite of true. It turns out they’re mostly based on a self-published book with few citations written by a longtime Republican lobbyist whom the New York Times once compared to Darth Vader.So let's review: no Air Force One chefs, no Bo personal dogwalker, no projectionists. So, CNN"s Dana Bash tried to catch up (literally) with Bachmann to confront her about these claims. Bachmann literally tries to run away from the reporter. When Bash chases after her and asks Bachmann to verify her claims, Bachmann turns to her and, unbelievably, says the issue is not about White House dogwalkers but --- Benghaaaaaaazi! "Four people died and the President didn't care!" Never mind that Bachmann spent most of her speech trying to humiliate the Obamas for their lavish lifestyles. It's Benghazi she was really talking about.
The Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler has done yeoman’s work in debunking the claims, but even his mighty fact checking is no match for The Bachmann: “There really aren’t enough Pinocchios for such misleading use of statistics in a major speech,” he lamented, sighing heavily over his keyboard as he gazed blankly out the window (we imagine).
For instance: Bachmann almost gets the dollar figure of running the White House correct, but the vast majority of that goes to Secret Service, not perks; Bachmann claims Bo Obama has a full-time dog handler, but he doesn’t, White House groundskeeper Dale Haney has voluntarily walked every presidential dog since Nixon’s (he likes dogs); she says Air Force One has five chefs, but it’s more like cooks, and White House staffers need to pay — $20 per meal — out of their own pockets to eat;
When all else fails, fall back on the Benghazi card. It's pretty funny watching a reporter chase someone who has so little support for their own claims that they have to run away rather than face backing them up. But truly, it's sadder that we have someone like this representing us in Congress.