Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), whose ill-fated presidential run in 2012 made her more controversial than ever, has announced that she will not seek reelection next year, capping her time in the United States House at four terms.
The announcement comes just six months after the hardest re-election since she was originally elected to the House in 2006, and in the midst of Congressional inquiries over fund-raising activities and accusations that she refused to pay staffers until they signed agreements not to discuss “unethical, immoral, or criminal activity” they witnessed during the campaign.
“I have decided next year I will not seek a fifth Congressional term,” she said in a video on her campaign website set to dramatic music. “This decision was not impacted in any way by the recent inquiries into the activities of my former presidential campaign or my former presidential staff.”
“My decision was not in any way influenced by any concerns about my being re-elected to Congress. If I ran I would again defeat the individual who I defeated last year.”
Both are dubious claims, especially given that her opponent, hotelier Jim Graves, was outspent by Bachmann by a factor of seven and still only lost by 4,200 votes out of 356,000 votes cast. He recently announced he would run again next year, and given Bachmann’s fleeting popularity and several instances of public embarrassment as of late, it is likely that his funding would go up and the vote margin would shrink drastically.
But hey, in the video Bachmann did leave it up to “the mainstream liberal media to put a detrimental spin” on her decision not to seek reelection — because a Congressional ethics investigation and a narrow win with a 1 percent margin wouldn’t have done that for them. So, maybe I’m just giving in to my obvious liberal tendencies on this clearly mainstream website.
Bachmann, as might be expected, also used her video to take aim at the Obama administration for it’s many failures – even going so far as to call his efforts after the “so-called Arab Spring” so weak that they resulted in the transformation of the entire Middle East into a “devastating, evil, jihadist earthquake.”
Bachmann arrived in congress in 2006 in relative obscurity, but roes to popularity in 2010 on the coattails of the Tea Party. She further made a name for herself by staunchly opposing Obama’s health care law, even going so far as to say it “literally kills” people. She rode Tea Party popularity to an ill-fated presidential bid in 2012, but after a short run plagued by gaffes and even basic historical mistakes (suggesting that the Revolutionary War battles at Lexington and Concord happened in New Hampshire, for instance), she dropped our shortly after the Iowa caucuses last January.
But, never fear, in the video Bachmann left future political ambitions on the table:
“There is no future option or opportunity, be it directly in the political area or otherwise, that I won’t be giving serious consideration if it can help save and protect our great nation for future generations.”