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Keller @ Large: Bachmann, Others Testing Presidential Waters In NH

By Jon Keller, WBZ
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U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) speaks at TurboCam, a machine manufacturing company in Barrington, New Hampshire. Bachmann, popular with conservatives and Tea Party activists, is in New Hampshire this weekend on a multi-stop trip attending fundraisers and meeting with members of the Republican Liberty Caucus of New Hampshire. (Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images)

U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) speaks at TurboCam, a machine manufacturing company in Barrington, New Hampshire. Bachmann, popular with conservatives and Tea Party activists, is in New Hampshire this weekend on a multi-stop trip attending fundraisers and meeting with members of the Republican Liberty Caucus of New Hampshire. (Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images)

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Veteran Boston political commentator Jon Keller is heard every weekday...
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BOSTON (CBS) – In case you hadn’t noticed, the assorted egomaniacs who think they just might be presidential timbre have started trooping through New Hampshire, road-testing the reception they’re getting from locals who, for the most part, look at them and see a noisy dollar sign in a suit. It’s an way-too-early portion of the campaign that’s of little interest to most of us – until someone does something stupid enough to put their presidential credentials in doubt.

Like Minnesota republican Michele Bachmann, who’s been something of a star with the Tea Party movement.

Oddly enough, given the Tea Party’s conscious identification with the story of the American revolution, Congresswoman Bachmann proved shaky on her grasp of that story during a visit to Manchester, New Hampshire the other day, telling the crowd: “You’re the state where the shot was heard around the world at Lexington and Concord.”

Actually, no, that would be Massachusetts, and as folks on both sides of the border will be quick to confirm, there is a big difference between the two states, and no real love lost either. They think we’re a corrupt, overtaxed joke, with manners that qualify us for a two-syllable nickname I can’t repeat here. We think they’re smug hicks who inexplicably choose to live in a freezing-cold strip mall.

As for Rep. Bachmann, let’s be very generous and call this a rookie mistake. It turns out she repeated her gaffe at another speech in New Hampshire over the weekend. But while the blunder doesn’t speak well of her research skills, her political spinning skills appear to be better developed. Her target market right now is very conservatives NH Republicans who are sure to love her new statement on mis-locating the two famous battles: “Massachusetts is where they happened. New Hampshire is where they are still proud of it!”

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