For those behind the news a bit, this is about Chris Wallace of Fox, who asked it of Michele Bachmann this morning. Friedersdorf and my brother are exactly right -- it's a question that just tees it up for the candidate to say whatever she wants and, if she's so inclined, to also complain about being picked on by the press. Although as James Fallows pointed out earlier, Bachmann has shown at least some basic skills at handling tougher questions, too.
All that said: I'm just as much of a Bachmann skeptic as ever. Let me just hit one part of it...Jonathan Chait believes that Bachmann skeptics are missing an important point:
[T]he religious right has changed -- its power to bend the party to its will has decreased, and its focus has largely merged with that of the GOP as a whole, so that the religious right is almost as concerned with economics and foreign policy as with social issues. Bachmann represents that transformation...And there's hardly any difference in the way she discusses these issues and the way most other Republicans do. They are all speaking the same apocalyptic language now.I think Chait is correct about Republicans, and conservatives, and Bachmann. Where I think he's wrong is that I don't think that's going to set her apart from the rest of the field -- certainly not Santorum and Cain, but also not from Pawlenty and Perry, and on issue positions and current rhetoric, probably not from Romney, either. I definitely do think that a candidate from Bachmann's wing of the party can win it; I just don't think that it's likely at all that Bachmann can.