Bachmann brushes off Newsweek cover

The president of the National Organization of Women actually rose to Rep. Michele Bachmann’s defense yesterday (didn’t see that coming!), while Newsweek editor Tina Brown tried to justify the “Crazy Eyes” cover that inspired so much conservative commentary yesterday. But one person seem disinclined to talk about the cover one way or another and that was Bachmann herself. As of yesterday afternoon, Bachmann still hadn’t seen the picture and she didn’t seem to care too much to talk about it when she could be talking about her campaign and her ideas for the country:

Brown claims the cover is OK because “Bachmann’s intensity is galvanizing voters in Iowa right now and Newsweek’s cover captures that.” But, of course, “rage” carries rather different connotations than “intensity.”

Still, Brown certainly has the “galvanizing voters” part right. According to a Monday Rasmussen Reports poll, Bachmann still leads Iowa (over Romney). Plus, Iowa talk radio host Steve Deace predicts Bachmann will easily win the Ames straw poll this Saturday. “If she stands her ground  [in the debate this week] then the mystery isn’t whether or not she’ll win, but by how much,” Deace has said.

The entire episode illustrates just how beautifully Bachmann’s campaign has grown up. After the Great Migraine Scandal of Summer 2011, Bachmann’s campaign seemed the slightest bit testy, somewhat defensive (remember the rumors that one of her staffers “roughed up” a reporter who dared to ask about her headaches?). Bachmann came out on top eventually, with a thoughtfully worded statement and the brilliant release of a note from her doctor — but, in this instance, it took Bachmann just one afternoon and a few cheerful words to teach Newsweek its relative irrelevance.