Marcus Bachmann, Mary Pawlenty named "First Mates" by Newsweek

Marcus Bachmann, looking quite deferential.

Marcus Bachmann, looking quite deferential.

The Iowa caucuses are still three months away, we're about to enter the summer doldrums when nobody gives a damn about politics, and yet here we are with the nation's two largest newsweeklies foisting pablum on us in the form of softball "profiles" of the possible GOP White House candidates' spouses.

Newsweek offers a cutsie "First Mates" slideshow that includes Marcus Bachmann (even though his wife hasn't officially announced her candidacy), and Mary Pawlenty, complete with nicknames. Marcus is the "silver fox," evidently. Mary is "red-hot smokin," (which we already knew).


Meanwhile, over at Time, we get Campaign Spouses: The M-Paw Factor, and a gloss on how T-Paw's wife turned him into an evangelical Christian and loves nothing better than to parse voter demographics.

Two things Newsweek doesn't bother to point out about "the silver fox": Budget hawk Bachmann's farm in Wisconsin has taken about a quarter-million dollars in farm subsidies over the years; and the Bachmanns run a Christian counseling business together that promises it "cure" anyone of being gay.

M-Paw's so "red-hot smokin'" that Newsweek needed to mention it twice! That's awesome newsweekly journalism for you. But what Newsweek doesn't mention -- and that Time does mention -- is that T-Paw was born again at the Wooddale mega-church in the Minneapolis suburbs. That's pastor Leith Anderson's church, and he now heads the National Association of Evangelicals -- a seriously helpful link to the Republican party base that T-Paw covets.

Also, check out the hive mind of the photo editors for both Time and Newsweek, who picked the same picture by Steve Pope to illustrate just how "red-hot smokin'" Mary Pawlenty really is:

Marcus Bachmann, First Mate

Marcus Bachmann, First Mate

Not the most flattering photo we've ever seen, but then again, neither are some of these.