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Bachmann's excuse: Just doing her duty

October 11. 2011 10:43PM

On Sunday, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, made her first visit to New Hampshire since June 28. At a campaign stop in North Conway, she gave a reason for her absence.

'You didn't see me a lot here in New Hampshire and I'll tell you why: It's because my first duty was to go back to Washington, D.C.'

Actually, a politician's first duty is to tell the truth. Rep. Bachmann's explanation failed that duty.

Bachmann last cast a vote in Congress on Aug. 1, The Hill, a newspaper that covers Congress, reported on Oct. 1. In the eight weeks since that last vote, she has found other things to do besides her 'first duty.' She has spent the summer campaigning for President. In Iowa.

There is nothing wrong with that. Some candidates figure they'll play better in corn country than in moose country. Bachmann won the Iowa Straw Poll on Aug. 13 and knocked Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty out of the presidential race. Good for her. But her singular focus on Iowa caused her to miss out on an opportunity to become the anti-Romney candidate in New Hampshire. That was a mistake. Now she realizes it. But instead of admitting it, she's telling Granite Staters that she would love to have been here this summer if only her duties as a member of Congress had not prevented her.

Passing by the White Mountain National Forest on the way to North Conway, Rep. Bachmann might have been under the impression that New Hampshire is filled with a bunch of rural rubes easily duped by a slick one-liner. But we're not hicks. We follow national politics closely. We even have Internet access. And we're also pretty good at sniffing out political fibs, which Bachmann would have known had she spent more time here before Sunday.