posted by GeoT
The aide who helped turn Rep. Michele Bachmann into a controversial mainstay of cable news has informed colleagues that she’s quitting – just as the firebrand Republican congresswoman prepares for her biggest media moment yet.
Multiple sources have confirmed that Michelle Marston, a veteran Hill aide, is leaving Bachmann’s office.
In an e-mail exchange with POLITICO, Marston declined to say why she’s going.
“I’m just not talking about it, and frankly I don’t think there’s a story here,” Marston wrote. “Now, the thousands of people calling our office to tell us [they’re] coming to Capitol Hill tomorrow – that’s a story.”
A conservative Republican House member, speaking on the condition of anonymity, suggested that Bachman’s views – and her willingness to state them – make it hard for her to keep staff. “When your captain’s crazy, it’s time to find a new ship,” the lawmaker said.
The tea partiers are launching the revolution. This week. But will anyone actually show up?
On Sunday, Rep. Michele Bachmann challenged viewers of Sean Hannity’s Fox News show to join her last-ditch attempt to kill health care reform.
The fiery Minnesota Republican plans to hold a press conference at “high noon” on Thursday. She urged Americans to flood the halls of Congress that day, find their elected officials, “look at the whites of their eyes and tell them, ‘don’t you dare take away my health care.'”
Since then, so-called tea party patriots have been burning up the Internets trying to rally supporters to attend Bachmann’s event. But so far, their efforts haven’t amounted to much. The official Tea Party Patriots website laments that Bachmann’s rally is being stymied by a “media blackout”—meaning that mainstream outlets like the New York Times and the Washington Post have ignored it.
The lack of media interest could stem from the tea partiers’ failure to mobilize as a genuine grassroots political force. In preparation for Bachmann’s press conference, the patriots devised a “three phase attack” on Congress called “Operation House Call.” The idea was for tea partiers to call, email, fax and visit key lawmakers, starting at 1:30 on Tuesday afternoon.
But a quick survey of some of the 13 targeted senators’ offices suggests that the “attack” has barely registered on the Hill. Kimberly Hunter, a spokeswoman for Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) says that at a little after 3:30 on Tuesday, her office hadn’t seen any uptick in calls or visits.