One might think this would be an easy question for a candidate’s senior advisor to answer, but as it turns out, not so much. I don’t get it. Doesn’t he want to protect America’s children from the retardation vaccine? Because, from where I’m sitting, there’s only one candidate in the field who’s keeping a sharp eye out for that.

At Red State, Ben Howe wonders why Bachmann wasn’t as alert to the dire risk of a needle-induced retardation pandemic back in Minnesota:

The HPV vaccination, while called mandatory, made available an opt-out provision so that the parental rights that she felt were so paramount could be protected in this decision. The Hepatitis B vaccination in Minnesota (state law since 1993) doesn’t even require parental consent at all. And Hep B’s communicability is similar to HPV in that it is primarily transmitted through intercourse, as opposed to being an airborne illness. Currently, no records can be found of Michele Bachmann sponsoring legislation in the Minnesota legislature to repeal the Hep B vaccination or to add a parental opt-out.

Congressman Bachmann served in the Minnesota congress for 5 years. In all that time, she never felt quite as driven by her parental instincts and conservative nature to decry or work to reverse what now she clearly consider to be an incredible breach of conservative values. I wonder what’s changed? Were the children of Minnesota not important enough? Is it only robbing a childhood if it’s vaccinations that her opponent supported but the one’s back home are just fine? Did she lack the same leadership qualities then?

Fair enough, but maybe back home she was never alerted to the problem by a random woman approaching her on the street and wielding no scientific evidence whatsoever. Too bad — if she had known sooner, there might be a lot more Hep B in Minnesota but a lot fewer mental disabilities. Life, as they say, is all about trade-offs.

Ace notes that she’s sunk sufficiently far in PPP’s latest poll that she’s now basically neck and neck with Gingrich. Important caveat, though: That poll was taken before the last debate, where I thought she revived her candidacy somewhat by taking it to Perry on Gardasil and immigration. Let’s see where she is in the next round of polls before pronouncing her a non-factor. Click the image to watch.