By the time she arrived in Greenville, South Carolina Tuesday afternoon, Rep. Michele Bachmann finally had her facts straight. "Today is the day," she observed in somber tones, that "we observe the passing of Elvis Presley."
Indeed, it was thirty-four years ago today that the world was stunned by the sudden death of the undisputed King of Rock and Roll, at the age of forty-two.
But it was the Iowa frontrunner's remarks earlier in the day about the most famous truck driver ever to make it out of Tupelo, Mississippi that embarrassed her, and her campaign, for at least a few hours in the non-stop news cycle.
"Before we all get started, let's all say, ‘Happy Birthday to Elvis Presley' today!" Bachmann shouted enthusiastically at the outset of a campaign rally in Spartanburg, South Carolina. "Happy Birthday!... You can't do better than Elvis Presley and we thought we'd celebrate his birthday as we got started celebrating our ‘Take Our Country Back' Tour."
The crowd went along, if only reluctantly, with some seeming to realize that Elvis's birthday was, in fact, January 8, 1935.
It was just the latest in a string of errors for the recent winner of the Ames Straw Poll.
Back in March, while still flirting with a run for the White House, Bachmann told an audience in Concord, New Hampshire: "You're the state where the shot was heard around the world at Lexington and Concord." In fact, the Revolutionary war began not in New Hampshire but in Concord and Lexington, Massachusetts.
In January, addressing an Iowa anti-tax group, Bachmann claimed the Founding Fathers of the United States had sought to end slavery. "The very Founders that wrote those documents," she said, referring to the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution," worked tirelessly until slavery was no more in the United States."
While some of those who signed the Declaration of Independence favored the abolition of slavery, many others - including George Washington and Thomas Jefferson - owned slaves. And all of them had long since died when slavery was formally abolished, following the Civil War.
Even in declaring her candidacy for the presidency this past June, in Waterloo, Iowa, her birthplace, Bachmann committed a gaffe.
The congresswoman claimed the late screen legend John Wayne was also from the city. In fact, Wayne's parents lived there, as did infamous serial killer John Wayne Gacy - but "the Duke," as John Wayne was affectionately known, never did.