flake noun \ˈflāk\ – Slang A somewhat eccentric person; an oddball.
One might expect to hear the term flake bandied about in a private conservation when talking about another person not present, but it is not a term that often comes up on Sunday morning public affairs talk shows — especially so directly.
However, on “Fox News Sunday,” it was a description moderator Chris Wallace asked 2012 Republican presidential candidate Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, who Wallace said has a reputation in Washington of making “questionable statements,” to respond to.
“Finally, let’s talk about Michele Bachmann because — and you say — it’s interesting,” Wallace said. “You say that people saw in the debate, saw you as a serious person. I don’t have to tell you that you have — that the rap on you in Washington is you have a history of questionable statements, some would say gaffes ranging from — talking about anti-America members of Congress, to on this show a couple of months ago when you suggested that NATO airstrikes killed up to 30,000 civilians. Are you a flake?”
Bachmann called the description “insulting” and explained why that wasn’t a fair term to use to describe her.
“Well, I think that would be insulting to say something like that because I’m a serious person,” Bachmann said. “[W]hat I would say is that I am 55 years old. I’ve been married 33 years. I’m not only a lawyer, I have a post-doctorate degree in federal tax law from William and Mary. I’ve worked in serious scholarship and in have worked in the Unites States federal tax court. My husband and I have raised five kids and 23 foster children. We’ve applied ourselves to education reform. We started a charter school for at-risk kids. I’ve also been a state senator and member of the United States Congress for five years, leading actively the movement in Washington, D.C., with those who are affiliated with fiscal reform.”
Wallace followed up asking Bachmann if she recognizes that there will be serious scrutiny of what she says going forward on the campaign trail. (Rolling Stone’s Taibbi rooting for Bachmann to see what porn films she inspires)
“Do you — I think it’s important to say that, but do you recognize that now that you in the spotlight in a way that you weren’t before that you have to be careful and not say what some regard as flaky things?”
Bachmann told Wallace that she recognizes that and she looks forward to it.
“Well, of course – a person has to be careful with statements that they make,” she replied. “I think that is true. I think now that there will be an opportunity to speak fully on the issues. I look forward to that.”