FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
Michele Bachmann's on a roll. A new NBC-Wall Street Journal poll found the Minnesota congresswoman in second place among Republican candidates for president, behind only front-runner Mitt Romney. It's the second national poll to put her in second place, and she's come out on top of three of the four most recent polls of likely Iowa caucusgoers, too.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2011/images/07/20/art.bachmann.jpg caption="Republican presidential candidate U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN)"]
But her surge in the polls could be coming to a screeching halt. Online news site the Daily Caller reported Tuesday that Bachmann suffers from chronic, debilitating migraine headaches. At times, the migraines have been bad enough that she has had to be taken to a hospital to be treated for them. Three anonymous former aides to Bachmann who spoke to the Daily Caller recalled incidents where she couldn't work and missed House votes because of her condition. Another former staffer told Politico that it's common for Bachmann to retreat to her private office, close the door and shut the lights off – sometimes for hours – to wait for a migraine to pass.
From the campaign trail in South Carolina on Tuesday, Bachmann admitted that she does suffer from migraines and that she takes medication to treat them. But she downplayed the condition and said it does not interfere with her work. And, she said, the headaches have not interfered with her busy schedule as a candidate. But the race has only just begun.
On Wednesday, the Bachmann campaign released a note from her doctor acknowledging her migraines and saying that her overall general health is good.
The news is bad timing for Bachmann, who, despite making gains in polls recently, has been under fire from gay rights groups over her husband's Christian counseling business as well as the "marriage vow" agreement she signed. The agreement was written by a conservative group that opposes gay marriage. Social issues dog candidates on both sides of the aisle in any election, and some candidates are able to overcome them. But serious and potentially debilitating health issues are a different story. Ask Tom Eagleton.
Here’s my question to you: Should Michele Bachmann's health be an issue in the race for president?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Paul in Austin, Texas:
Although I am not a huge fan of Bachmann, I do not see a real issue with her health. All we need to do is look back to JFK and FDR. They both had major health problems and most of us really didn't know any details until after both had left us. Isn't that what a Vice President is for - to replace the President when and while too ill to give 100% to the position?
Lisa in Shelton, Connecticut:
Her history of treatment for migraines is simply a sign of a slow news day; this will be unlikely to affect the campaign. However, her candidacy and blunders give me a headache.
Gary in Minnesota:
Bachmann's migraines are not an issue. Her mental stability is the issue. I am from Minneapolis, Minnesota. Bachmann only sounds cogent in very short doses. Beyond that, as you will all see, she is quite off her rocker. I hope she is wildly successful within her party. It will be great entertainment and an insurance policy for President Obama.
Of course, since she says that it's from stress. What do you think the Commander-in-Chief's job would be? Maybe her husband could pray the headaches away?
David in Tampa:
These things can be so severe as to be incapacitating for hours at least. I used to have to take my wife to the hospital for treatment or leave work about once or twice a month and stay with her because of her migraine headaches.
J.K. in Minnesota:
All candidates for the Presidency need to disclose any health issues they have. It doesn't matter who it is. They are asking the voters to trust them. The voters have the right to know if they are physically fit to perform a job that obviously ages every person who holds it.
Brian in Chicago:
No. But it will be an issue. I am a Democrat, so I can't believe I'm defending Michele Bachmann. Her health will be an issue. The reality is we are a vain country, Jack. We don't like ugly Presidents, we don't like fat Presidents, we don't like old Presidents, and we don't like sick Presidents. It's an unfortunate truth.
"Not tonight, U.S. taxpayers!"