WASHINGTON, May 29, 2013 — Minnesota’s Republican Congresswoman Michele Bachmann has made it official in a video (see below): she won’t run again in 2014. The darling of the Right and founder of the Congressional Tea Party Caucus, the Republican representative could always be counted on to sling some mud and occasional arrows at Democratic targets.
So it is a sad day for all the guys and gals who dangle tea bags off their tricorn hats. It’s even a sad day for the Left where Bachmann was their bête noir who became the poster girl for all that the Left sees wrong with the Right. It’s a sad day for the media, which could always count on juicing up a dull news day with a dandy quote from Bachmann. And it’s a sad day for late night comedians who mined her words for fresh material. What’s Jon Stewart to do? Maybe go on hiatus and recover from the loss?
Of course there is still about a year and half left in Bachmann’s term, but she will be missed as a great source of inspiration to the Left and the Right.
For the folks on the Right, she was the mouthpiece for whatever conspiracy theory flew into her head. Now they are left with the likes of Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, no slouch in the bomb-throwing department, but he just doesn’t have the same wide-eyed cachet of a Bachmann.
And while Michele Bachman set many Democratic teeth grinding, she was also easy to pigeonhole as the mad auntie in the attic. Not so with Ted Cruz, who is cut from the mold of Sen. Joseph McCarthy of the infamous McCarthy hearings of the Fifties. With his dark suits, dark hair and brows, and dark glowers at anyone who disagrees with him, he has the look of a classic villain, while Bachmann was the stuff of comic book adversaries.
So why is Bachmann stepping down after eight years in the House? Sure, she barely won the last time around in a safe and conservative Republican district, but what is propelling her out the door?
There the Congresswoman was short on specifics: “The law limits anyone from serving as president of the United States for more than eight years, and in my opinion, well, eight years is also long enough for an individual to serve as a representative for a specific Congressional district.”
Nor does it appear that her failed presidential bid, which sparked an ethics investigation into improper payments to campaign consultants, has led to this decision. In fact, in her announcement, Bachmann insisted that that probe has nothing to do with her decision:
“This decision was not impacted in anyway by the recent inquiries into my former presidential campaign or my former presidential staff. It was clearly understood that compliance with all rules and regulations was an absolute necessity for my presidential campaign, and I have no reason to believe that that was not the case.”
And yet that probe has widened now that the FBI has joined the inquiry with its schedule of interviews with those involved in the case. Plus Bachmann is also trying to settle a lawsuit over “her campaign’s alleged theft and misuse of a proprietary e-mail list of home-school families.”
So what is next for the Tea Party darling after she leaves the pulpit of the House floor? Whether does she go next? The corporate world? Her own foundation? A right-wing think tank like former Sen. Jim DeMint did?
Wherever the wind blows her, just know that Michelle Bachmann will be remembered…etched forever in our hearts and brains with quotes like this:
“We also know that the very founders that wrote those documents [Constitution] worked tirelessly until slavery was no more in the United States….I think it is high time that we recognize the contribution of our forbearers who worked tirelessly — men like John Quincy Adams, who would not rest until slavery was extinguished in the country.” January 2011.
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