It is a sad day for late night comedians, bloggers, and Democratic strategists. Michele Bachmann has announced she will not run for re-election. She has vowed to continue to try to impose her narrow-minded religious views upon others, or as The New York Times paraphrased her statement: “She vowed to continue to fight for the principles she said she holds dear: religious liberty, traditional marriage, family values and opposition to abortion.” This will also allow her to spend more time as a beard for her husband Marcus.
Leaving the House is probably a good career move for Bachmann. She has little chance of advancing further in politics. While a similarly mentally challenged Tea Partier might be able to reach the Senate from Kentucky, this is doubtful to happen in Minnesota. Although she denies that this influenced her decision, it is questionable whether she could hold onto her own House seat and she is facing legal investigations:
Mrs. Bachmann spent heavily in her last Congressional campaign and eked out a victory by less than two percentage points. She would have been one of the Democrats’ top targets in the 2014 elections, but her decision not to run by no means guarantees them a victory in the conservative-leaning district.
In addition to a tough fight for re-election, Mrs. Bachmann also faces growing legal troubles. The Office of Congressional Ethics, a quasi-independent House agency that acts like a grand jury to examine allegations of ethics violations, has been conducting its own review of Mrs. Bachmann and her staff since early this year.
That inquiry, first disclosed in March, is either near its conclusion or has already resulted in a recommendation for a formal investigation by the House Ethics Committee, given that there is a strict time limit of about 100 days for how long these preliminary investigations can go on.
The Star Tribune of Minneapolis reported this month that the Federal Bureau of Investigation was also conducting an inquiry, joining the Federal Election Commission and the Iowa Senate Ethics Committee on the growing list of investigative bodies examining her campaign activity.
Among the allegations Mrs. Bachmann is facing is that her campaign improperly used money from an affiliated political action committee, MichelePac, to pay a fund-raising consultant who worked for her during the 2012 Iowa caucuses. Her campaign has also been accused of making secret and improper payments to Kent Sorenson, an Iowa state senator and popular Republican conservative leader in the state, in advance of the caucuses. And she has been accused of improperly using her presidential campaign staff to help promote her book, “Core of Conviction.”
The big winner her is the Republican Party, which has a much better chance to hold onto the Congressional seat from her conservative district without Bachmann on the ballot. Michele Bachmann should also do well outside of Congress. The conservative movement and Tea Party are teeming with fools who are easily separated from their money.