In South Carolina, Bachmann Mum on Migraines

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Columbia, S.C.

Michele Bachmann spoke on Tuesday morning to a Christian group here, whom she told about growing up poor and her devout Christian faith. (“The most important thing is eternity, and what we can do for eternity.”) The Minnesota Congresswoman is looking awfully strong in Iowa, but as one GOP operative put it to me recently, she’ll need a second act beyond the state where she was born, and South Carolina, whose primary looks wide open, might be her best bet. It surely doesn’t hurt that Bachmann spent last night at the governor’s mansion with the state’s Republican Governor, Nikki Haley, who has yet to choose a candidate. That said, Bachmann has work to do here: A tent where she spoke for perhaps 30 minutes was not filled to capacity and she earned a polite but not rip-roaring response.

Bachmann took a few questions from the audience, but none from reporters, whose access to her was blocked by a large (and extremely sweaty) security guard with a wire in his ear. Thus she has yet to speak directly about new allegations by unnamed former staffers that she suffers from incapacitating migraine headaches that require extensive medication to manage. Bachmann was scheduled to talk to the press after her second public event on Tuesday in Aiken, but that availability has been scratched by her campaign, citing an urgent need to return to Congress.

Bachmann’s spokeswoman, Alice Stewart, did give me a response to the Daily Caller story about the Congresswoman’s migraines. “Twelve percent of Americans suffer from migraines,” she said. “They’re treatable. They’re under control with medication. She has never once missed a single event” as a result of a headache.” Fisher said the campaign welcomed anyone to “come out and keep up with” Bachmann on long campaign days like Tuesday, when the South Carolina heat is forecast to approach 100 degrees. I’ll see how she fares in Aiken this afternoon. But it remains unclear whether this story will trouble many of Bachmann’s current and potential supporters, who may already be inclined to see her as the victim of unfair personal attacks.

P.S. During Bachmann’s event, someone papered the windshields of cars parked nearby with fliers attacking her for “a history of selling out to Big Labor.” The flier describes one vote against an amendment that would have prohibited airport screeners from relying heavily on full-body image scanners. “NOT A FLAKE: A FAKE,” it declared. You can find images on the flier on my Twitter feed.

Correction: This item originally misidentified Bachmann’s spokeswoman.

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