At New York, John Heilemann a transcript of the interview that started the micro-fracas. The questions are perhaps even more revealing than the answers:
JHEIL: What do you think of Michele Bachmann as a potential nominee?
JHUNT: I think it’s too hypothetical. I don’t think she gets the nomination. I think it’s impossible for her to get the nomination. I don’t think she’s gonna be able to bring the numbers together within the Republican tent to get the nomination. She’s off in one corner of the party. I think she’s excited that corner of the party. There are some elements that the media find appealing.
JHUNT: Irresistible. And why not? She makes for good copy. And good photography. So why not take it for all you can get? But I think that’s way too speculative.
JHEIL: But unlike you, she is red in tooth and claw in her attacks on Obama. Do you think that in itself is disqualifying? Is it dangerous for the Republican party to dabble in such attacks?
JHUNT: You know, campaigns are about letting a thousand flowers blossom — bloom. So everybody gets to speak their mind and approach it from whatever angle of attack, and she’s chosen her own angle of attack. I don’t think it’s saleable in the end. It will certainly light up and ignite a corner of the Republican party, but not enough to do what needs to be done to win the nomination. But that’s an extension of her right to free speech.
JHEIL: But do you think she’s a serious person who should be taken seriously?
JHUNT: She’s an elected official. She’s a member of Congress.
JHEIL: Well, there are a lot of lunatics in Congress.
JHUNT: Clearly she should be taken seriously. She’s an elected official and elected officials should be taken seriously.