When I saw reports bouncing around this morning that Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) had become a Swiss citizen, I thought it was some kind of joke with an odd punch line. As it turns out, it's legit.
The Minnesota congresswoman and former Republican presidential candidate was recently granted dual citizenship, Bachmann's office confirmed Tuesday night, according to CNN."Congresswoman Bachmann's husband is of Swiss descent so she has been eligible for dual-citizenship since they got married in 1978," spokeswoman Becky Rogness said in a statement. "However, recently some of their children wanted to exercise their eligibility for dual-citizenship so they went through the process as a family."
Here's video of the right-wing lawmaker, commenting on her eligibility to seek public office in the European country.
As a practical matter, this apparently won't have much of an impact on Bachmann's political career -- she will continue to seek re-election -- but it is a rather odd turn of events, not only for a member of Congress to maintain dual citizenship, but for this member of Congress to maintain dual citizenship.
Doug Mataconis noted, "Perhaps it has happened before, and I don't necessarily have a problem with it, but one has to wonder how Bachmann and her fellow Republicans would react if a Democrat did something like this."
I had the same thought. I can only imagine the breathless Fox News reports about the nefarious Democratic lawmaker who "wasn't satisfied with her American citizenship," so she picked up dual citizenship for her and her children from a "liberal European country" -- probably because of Switzerland's universal health care system and generous, anti-freedom welfare state.