The New Yorker ran a lengthy profile of Michele Bachmann and her campaign. As you might expect from this source, it's full of weasely innuendo and passive aggressive cheap shots. But what surprised me most was the absence of one particular weasely cheap shot, the claim that Bachmann was inciting violence by calling for citizens to be "armed and dangerous".
The article includes the mandatory litany of her alleged "gaffes" which we in Minnesota have become so familiar with. But it skips Bachmann's "armed and dangerous" comment, which she made on the old NARN First Team show, and which was so popular in the liberal press earlier this year. When the New Yorker, an institution of the liberal press, ignores it, maybe it shows our efforts to debunk this myth (including the Unarmed and Dangerous series) have paid some dividends.
Now if they'd only listen to us about the supposed John Wayne Gacy "gaffe", faithfully recounted by the New Yorker. It still amazes me that professional journalists can go around saying she "confused" John Wayne and John Wayne Gacy, which sounds like she was telling people that the star of Rio Bravo happened to murder 33 young men and boys in Chicago. Or she was telling people that the guy who murdered 33 young men and boys in Chicago was also the star of True Grit. (And now you know the rest of the story [/paulharvey]). No, it all comes down to her saying the real John Wayne was "from" a city where his parents were from, but about a hundred miles away from where he was born. Journalists of America, for future reference, the full truth of the story lies right here.
Byron York is also covering the Bachmann campaign in Iowa and files this report in the Washington Times. He includes this testament to her retail political skills:
Anyone who doubts Michele Bachmann's talents as a hands-on politician didn't see her performance here Monday
... Bachmann was still holding Hoover's hand and looking straight into his eyes; at that moment, every ounce of her considerable energy was devoted to making this one particular sale. "I'm 100 percent pro-life, I'm 100 percent pro-marriage, pro-family, I'm 100 percent on the Second Amendment," she told Hoover. "Let's get 'er done right now, let's make a decision right now. What do I need to do to convince you?
Apparently it worked, York reports that the target of her question vowed to support her. But is this a testament to Michele Bachmann or a testament to the power of used car sales techniques?
The Larry the Cable Guy close (let's get 'er done!) is new to me, but the "what do I need to convince you" sales appeal is as old as Zig Ziglar. It's lasted this long because it works. As detailed on the Car Sales Professional website:
Creating urgency in your car buyers mind needs to be handled very delicately because it directly impacts your car salesman income. You have seen comedy skits and TV shows that depict being a car salesman and asking the car buyer “what can I do to get you to buy today” and in essence that is what we are trying to do. We want them to buy a car now, while they are at our car dealership.
Speaking of TV shows, life resembles Seinfeld, from the episode The Dealership, Jerry Seinfeld trying to reunite Elaine and car salesman David Puddy:
JERRY: (Smiling, like a salesman) Alright. Now, what do I have to do to put you two in a relationship today?The Sales Techniques Blog provides some additional insight on why this approach works:
When you are asking questions, be sure that you have focus and a clear outcome in mind. Here is a sample sentence:
"What can I do to help you buy a new car today?"
It is simple and to the point. Your focus is on the fact that they really want to buy a car and you are asking what you need to do to help them in achieving their goal. You are opening up the dialogue for them to tell you want they want, whether it be a specific car, a certain price and a particular color or accessory.
Just as any good car salesman will have a vehicle to match whatever their preference is, a good politician will have a policy position to match whatever their preference is.
How does the average used car purchaser/voter stand a chance in the face of this withering assault on their subconscious will? Aaron Gold provides the answer:
"What can I do to get you to buy this car today?"
I've always wanted to answer this one by saying, "Put on a clown suit, play 'Sweet Home Alabama' on the tuba, and then sell me the car for $25."
That should beat back any politician, unless it's Rick Santorum who may just accommodate you.