Video: Michele Bachmann retires

posted at 8:01 am on May 29, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Actually, it might be a stretch to call this a retirement.  Rep. Michele Bachmann announced last night that she would not seek a fifth term in the House from Minnesota’s 6th Congressional district in this nearly nine-minute valediction.  As The Week notes, however, Bachmann doesn’t say she’s retiring from politics or even electoral politics, which means she may have something else in mind already (via Andrew Malcolm):

On Monday, Politico speculated that Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), the “bomb-throwing conservative and onetime Republican presidential candidate,” faced an “existential threat in 2014.” Bachmann “may be the congresswoman with nine lives,” said Politico‘s Alex Isenstadt, but between “a swirl of investigations into her campaign finances” and a looming rematch with hotelier Jim Graves, a Democrat who almost unseated her in 2012 — and who is already beating her in some polls — her luck may have run out.
On Tuesday night, Bachmann announced via a YouTube video (watch above) that she won’t seek re-election in 2014. In the video, the Tea Party leader rejected the idea that she was being hounded out of office, saying her decision “was not impacted in any way by the recent inquiries into the activities of my former presidential campaign or my former presidential staff” and expressing confidence that she would have beaten Graves.

So why isn’t she seeking re-election? Bachmann doesn’t really explain. She says that if eight years is enough for presidents, it’s enough for her. And she promises not to fade away, continuing “to work vehemently and robustly to fight back against what most in the other party want to do to transform our country into becoming, which would be a nation that our founders would hardly even recognize today.” Her future is “full, it is limitless,” says Bachmann, it just won’t involve sitting in the House. She doesn’t rule out running for other public office.

In eight minutes and 40 seconds, with upbeat music playing in the background, Bachmann goes through a list of things she has done or tried to do, wrongs she thinks the Obama administration has rained down on the U.S. and the world, and warns about the “ultimate risk of the destruction of our entire economic system.”

I don’t think Jim Graves’ renewed challenge had much to do with this.  Bachmann managed to edge Graves in 2012 with Barack Obama at the top of the ticket it what turned out to be a wave election in Minnesota.  Democrats swept the statewide races and won back control of both chambers of the legislature, fed in no small part by presidential campaign spending.  Next year, the lay of the land and  the electorate will look considerably different, and Bachmann should have had little trouble in winning again if she ran.

Why now, then? The video doesn’t really give an explanation other than Bachmann simply doesn’t want to return to the House.  It’s possible that she may be eyeing the Senate race against Al Franken — and since practically no one else is, she’d probably win the nomination by default if she chose.  If that’s the case, why bother retiring now?  She could wait for the moment that she wants to jump into the race to announce that she’s shifting to the Senate without the formal retirement announcement.

Plus, while Bachmann has done well in CD-6, she’s not that strong in the rest of the state.  Minnesotans won’t elect a conservative firebrand to statewide office any time soon, as much as we might hope that Bachmann’s fundraising and name brand might carry her over the finish line.  Bachmann is too smart a politician to not know this.  She might do better in a gubernatorial bid against Mark Dayton, but that’s just a matter of degree rather than a different outcome.

Perhaps she’s hoping to focus on grassroots activism, where she has shined and which propelled her to a serious bid for the Republican presidential nomination.  If so, the ground should be favorable in 2014, and the Tea Party groups ready to make a bigger impact.  Bachmann found a true national constituency in the Tea Party, and that would give her a way to push for change from the outside as a leader rather than on the inside, where Republicans rebuffed her bid to join the House leadership.  Don’t expect that we’ve seen the last of Michele Bachmann.

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ddrintn on May 29, 2013 at 1:41 PM

What I haven’t gotten over is the fact that after Tucson, Bachmann (along with just about all of the GOP) was silent while Palin and the TP were being absolutely savaged.

ddrintn on May 29, 2013 at 1:32 PM

This BIGTIME.

But, that would require GOP to be “stand up” people.

Kind of like trying to find a Virgin in a Maternity Ward…

ToddPA on May 29, 2013 at 1:46 PM

This BIGTIME.

But, that would require GOP to be “stand up” people.

Kind of like trying to find a Virgin in a Maternity Ward…

ToddPA on May 29, 2013 at 1:46 PM

And I remember that if any of us ever brought that up here at this site after Bachmann got into the race, it was because we were HATERS!!!!!!!!!!!11111!!!!!!

ddrintn on May 29, 2013 at 1:50 PM

^ Heck, I can remember when voicing even mild criticism of Chris Christie got one tagged a “rabid Palinista”.

ddrintn on May 29, 2013 at 1:53 PM

What a sharp contrast to the Alaskan quitter clown Palin.

nottakingsides on May 29, 2013 at 2:02 PM

Fools, you celebrated too soon.

Schadenfreude on May 29, 2013 at 2:16 PM

And I remember that if any of us ever brought that up here at this site after Bachmann got into the race, it was because we were HATERS!!!!!!!!!!!11111!!!!!!

ddrintn on May 29, 2013 at 1:50 PM

Yup….See No taking Intellect above.

ToddPA on May 29, 2013 at 2:17 PM

Frankly, good riddance to bad rubbish.

Despite her nominally conservative stances, Bachmann was neither an influential or innovative legislator or thinker. She has no accomplishments to show for her time in Congress besides declaring herself the Chairman of the Tea Party Caucus, which attracted two other members.

Her ridiculous and dangerous position on vaccines labelled her as a nut anyway. She damaged the conservative cause by far more than she ever helped it.

Adjoran on May 29, 2013 at 2:23 PM

What a sharp contrast to the Alaskan quitter clown Palin.

nottakingsides on May 29, 2013 at 2:02 PM

nonpartisan’s twin speeketh…

Schadenfreude on May 29, 2013 at 2:25 PM

What a sharp contrast to the Alaskan quitter clown Palin.

nottakingsides on May 29, 2013 at 2:02 PM

Yeah, I know, Palin accomplished more in two and a half years in office than Bachmann did in her entire career, so it is quite a sharp contrast. If Palin hid in the bushes to spy on Teh Gheys and attributed horrific terrorist attacks to divine vengeance I’m sure you’d be her #1 fan.

Walter Sobchak on May 29, 2013 at 2:34 PM

Sweet ladies don’t do what she did to Perry.
annoyinglittletwerp on May 29, 2013 at 11:23 AM

Calling him out on making VD vaccinations mandatory for little girls in Texas?

peacenprosperity on May 29, 2013 at 2:41 PM

which propelled her to a serious bid for the Republican presidential nomination.

LOL. there was nothing serious about her presidental bid. Why is she retiring? who knows. Was never a big fan of Bachmann thought she hurt more then help conservatives. but I wish her well in lif

unseen on May 29, 2013 at 2:55 PM

Maybe she should have quit after a few months and done a family clown bus tour.

nottakingsides on May 29, 2013 at 3:02 PM

Good riddance. She somehow managed to make the primaries even more of a farce then they’d already become.

mythicknight on May 29, 2013 at 3:04 PM

Fools, you celebrated too soon.

Schadenfreude on May 29, 2013 at 2:16 PM

I made this point in my first comment.
Her bailing is a loss for the Dems.
Repubs are pleased.

verbaluce on May 29, 2013 at 3:14 PM

verbaluce on May 29, 2013 at 3:14 PM

Buy lottery tickets :)

Cheers, verbie!

Schadenfreude on May 29, 2013 at 3:31 PM

THANK YOU very much for your service to our nation, Rep. Bachman!

I have appreciated having your strong, courageous, and patriotic voice in Congress!

Best wishes for success in whatever you decide to do next!

wren on May 29, 2013 at 3:31 PM

Buy lottery tickets :)

Cheers, verbie!

Schadenfreude on May 29, 2013 at 3:31 PM

I would, but what are the odds of winning Powerball twice?

verbaluce on May 29, 2013 at 3:32 PM

Bachmann most definitely has big plans for her future; with her family, business, and political success, she’s obviously not the type to sit around. I’m excited to see what her plans are.

Jackalope on May 29, 2013 at 3:41 PM

Maybe she should have quit after a few months and done a family clown bus tour.

nottakingsides on May 29, 2013 at 3:02 PM

Math is hard.

Walter Sobchak on May 29, 2013 at 3:42 PM

Math is hard.

Walter Sobchak on May 29, 2013 at 3:42 PM

So is being filled with hate. Glad I don’t live that way.

Jackalope on May 29, 2013 at 4:10 PM

Maybe she should have went on the road promoting an anti-conservative, big gov RINO, praising him 24/7.

nottakingsides on May 29, 2013 at 4:33 PM

Maybe she should have went on the road promoting an anti-conservative, big gov RINO, praising him 24/7.

nottakingsides on May 29, 2013 at 4:33 PM

“should have gone

ddrintn on May 29, 2013 at 4:36 PM

Sorry, but when I see those who strut around judging the mental acuity of others make such egregious grammatical errors, it’s just hard to ignore.

ddrintn on May 29, 2013 at 4:38 PM

I’m really sad to hear this. Bachman was a person of principal seeking truth. The den of vipers that is the House is much poorer without her. May God continue to richly bless her.

tom daschle concerned on May 29, 2013 at 4:44 PM

If Michele Bachmann runs for the POTUS again in ’16 there’s a good chance I’ll support her, even above Rand Paul. I might prefer Rand Paul if he didn’t support amnesty, but since he does I’ll be supporting Ted Cruz or Bachmann if she runs again. If Ron Paul runs I’ll be supporting him above anybody else, but Rand isn’t as good. I’ll only be voting for people who oppose amnesty and that I’m confident will do everything possible to help us abolish the IRS/Obamacare gestapo.

FloatingRock on May 29, 2013 at 4:47 PM

If Michele Bachmann runs for the POTUS again in ’16 there’s a good chance I’ll support her, even above Rand Paul. I might prefer Rand Paul if he didn’t support amnesty, but since he does I’ll be supporting Ted Cruz or Bachmann if she runs again. If Ron Paul runs I’ll be supporting him above anybody else, but Rand isn’t as good. I’ll only be voting for people who oppose amnesty and that I’m confident will do everything possible to help us abolish the IRS/Obamacare gestapo.

FloatingRock on May 29, 2013 at 4:47 PM

Sorry to break it to you, but whoever the GOP nominee in 2016 turns out to be, he/she is going to support something that most commenters at this site will call amnesty. I don’t care who it is.

ddrintn on May 29, 2013 at 4:52 PM

Maybe she should have quit after a few months and failed in the reality show clown business like her daughter.

nottakingsides on May 29, 2013 at 4:56 PM

Sorry to break it to you, but whoever the GOP nominee in 2016 turns out to be, he/she is going to support something that most commenters at this site will call amnesty. I don’t care who it is.

ddrintn on May 29, 2013 at 4:52 PM

Then those of us who want to preserve America will have to vote 3rd party.

FloatingRock on May 29, 2013 at 4:57 PM

Maybe she should have quit after a few months and failed in the reality show clown business like
her daughter.
nottakingsides on May 29, 2013 at 4:56 PM

Quality confession of ignorance there patriot. lol

tom daschle concerned on May 29, 2013 at 5:03 PM

Sorry to break it to you, but whoever the GOP nominee in 2016 turns out to be, he/she is going to support something that most commenters at this site will call amnesty. I don’t care who it is.

ddrintn on May 29, 2013 at 4:52 PM

Probably, but theres amnesty and then there’s amnesty.

Lock down the border, with as much limited access as possible?

1000%

The 10-15 million, give or take a few million, is gonna be harder, especially when you add in the families, anchor baby syndrome, etc.

Those folks? Give them provisional status aka: Resident Alien ID card for minimum 20 years, no Federal social benefits & no voting for *any* office Federal OR State.

They can work and pay taxes, but to simplify it, I would make it a Flat Tax that’s based upon the average of middle class working Americans in all 50 States. If that Average is 27% (or higher), so be it: pay up and enjoy. If it’s higher, then they’ll really know how Americans feel.

Hey, we can even set aside some of that money in a “lockbox”! That way, they’ll again know what Americans are going through…I mean, Congress couldn’t possibly screw that up, right?

Then those of us who want to preserve America will have to vote 3rd party.

FloatingRock on May 29, 2013 at 4:57 PM

I thought Dr. No Brains retired this year?

Hey! Who let the little mad scientist out on his Rascal again?

BlaxPac on May 29, 2013 at 5:29 PM

I am surprised that some people are more offended by Bachman’s stance on vaccines than the fact that the Governor Perry wanted to be a drug pusher on young girls.

Faramir on May 29, 2013 at 5:30 PM

Bachman threw a grenade at Perry. He pulled the pin and forgot to throw it back.

SparkPlug on May 29, 2013 at 5:36 PM

Maybe she should have quit after a few months and failed in the reality show clown business like her daughter.

nottakingsides on May 29, 2013 at 4:56 PM

Maybe she should have got hooked on crack and knocked up by railroad bums like your mother.

Walter Sobchak on May 29, 2013 at 5:36 PM

I blame her for harming Gov’na Perry. She is nuts. Stone-cold nuts.

I hope that she can be held liable for any damages that occur from a child not getting a vaccine.

antisense on May 29, 2013 at 5:40 PM

I am surprised that some people are more offended by Bachman’s stance on vaccines than the fact that the Governor Perry wanted to be a drug pusher on young girls.

Faramir on May 29, 2013 at 5:30 PM

I was surprised that Bachmann got more bent out of shape over Perry’s vaccine thing than Romney’s massive state intervention in the health care system.

ddrintn on May 29, 2013 at 6:09 PM

I was surprised that Bachmann got more bent out of shape over Perry’s vaccine thing than Romney’s massive state intervention in the health care system.

ddrintn on May 29, 2013 at 6:09 PM

Bachmann was nothing but a stalking horse for Teh Mittenz. Krauthammer’s idiotic nonsense on Fox about it being “Bachmann’s turn” is proof enough of that.

Walter Sobchak on May 29, 2013 at 6:19 PM

Sad news for MN and conservatives..I wish her well in her future endeavors..)

Dire Straits on May 29, 2013 at 7:28 PM

Bye bye Michelle! DLTDHYITAOTWO

I don’t get why everyone here is so upset! She is not principled, nor conservative.

cableguy615 on May 29, 2013 at 7:38 PM

Sorry to break it to you, but whoever the GOP nominee in 2016 turns out to be, he/she is going to support something that most commenters at this site will call amnesty. I don’t care who it is.

ddrintn on May 29, 2013 at 4:52 PM

Then those of us who want to preserve America will have to vote 3rd party.

FloatingRock on May 29, 2013 at 4:57 PM

The GOPe is poised to do the same damn thing in 2014 that the Dems did in 2006 – retake the Senate and holding to the House because they aren’t the Dems. That’s all well and good, but it’s not a strategy for winning.

They easily could fumble on the goal line with an amnesty candidate – and having yet another election where the parties base either sits on its’ hands, or defects to go third party. And I wouldn’t put it past them – there is a level of tone-deafness within the GOPe by their leaders who think they are the smartest men in the room.

Myron Falwell on May 29, 2013 at 7:41 PM

I sometimes didn’t agree with Bachman…but I respected her.

Add another Democrat in the house column.

Redford on May 29, 2013 at 7:42 PM

I was surprised that Bachmann got more bent out of shape over Perry’s vaccine thing than Romney’s massive state intervention in the health care system.

ddrintn on May 29, 2013 at 6:09 PM

That was her inner Jenny McCarthy talking. That level of irresponsible blathering was enough to repulse me from her. I’d never consider voting for her in this lifetime, or in any other lifetime.

Myron Falwell on May 29, 2013 at 7:45 PM

I sometimes didn’t agree with Bachman…but I respected her.

Add another Democrat in the house column.

Redford on May 29, 2013 at 7:42 PM

Not necessarily…

Myron Falwell on May 29, 2013 at 7:47 PM

I’d like to see her oust Al Franken.
Cuz’ doggone it, I just don’t like him.

connertown on May 29, 2013 at 8:01 PM

I liked Bachmann and will miss her. She was one tea party type who didn’t obey the leadership on sequester, like West, or McCotter. In return for their support of the RINO bill, West got redistricted out by his party, and McCotter got a bunch of bogus signatures on his petition to get on the ballot almost as if he were set up.

Consider the attack squads on Cruz. Tea party, disobedient to the elites, and he uses his popularity to challenge the status quo. He is already being called ‘trouble’.

Many enjoy pummeling Bachmann. Making this announcement might slow down some of the endless attacks. As Levin said, she gets the Palin treatment.There was always another lawsuit waiting for Palin, until she was out of Presidential territory. Definitely the DEMs do not want a female challenger to Hil, although they will never admit it. The GOP upper crusties also fear it, because a female can gain female supporters, and female supporters take insults personally

I do not consider Bachmann’s nutty ideas so nutty. She called gay behavior some kind of sex ID problem. It is. These are people who reject their biological sex – as in logical – and want others to call it normal. Biologically they are chasing the wrong identity. Their choice, but not the norm.

Her suspicions on vaccines causing problems is grounded. People get mad because they dont want sheeple to stop using vaccines. There is a cost benefit ratio. Research squalene additives in vaccines. The problem of some vaccines triggering auto immune problems is real. My late aunt, who had severe auto immune disease to start with, took a hit from vaccines.

But, people dont want an unvaccinated population, so you are not supposed to talk about the real dangers. She was given the tin hat award unfairly. If you are in the minority who have reactions to vaccines, your problem is 100 percent problem. All gulf war syndrome victims had squalene antibodies, even though the gov stated there was no squalene in the vaccine. Bachmanns problem was being too honest and unwilling to say what she did not believe

entagor on May 30, 2013 at 12:27 AM

Don’t let it hit ya on the way out, MB.

She is a nutter and precisely what is wrong with the GOP. Let’s hope that whoever steps up after her is sane.

MJBrutus on May 30, 2013 at 11:14 AM

What role did she have apart from being an object of derision?

What are we losing here?

eh on May 30, 2013 at 11:48 AM

Don’t let it hit ya on the way out, MB.

She is a nutter and precisely what is wrong with the GOP. Let’s hope that whoever steps up after her is sane.

Why don’t you blog at kos anymore you fking idiot leftard?

tom daschle concerned on May 30, 2013 at 12:32 PM

Governor Perry deserved the granade thrown at him when he tried to push drugs on young girls on his state for kick backs from Big Pharma. The only way girls can possibly get the virus is through sexual activity.

Faramir on May 30, 2013 at 2:03 PM

Madam President Sounds good!

However, the Senate is where she’s needed, and is most qualified to be. Overlooked in the political analysis above, is the fact that Bachman recently partnered with freshman FL Cong. Ron DeSantis et al, on a resolution to establish a Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs.

Their mission will be to review and account for the cases of over 80,000 servicemen! Expect that Nam partners in crime ‘McCain and Kerry’s’ knees will be knocking when this committee looks under their Vietnamese prayer rug! Look for Congresswoman Bachman to co-chair or lead this POW/MIA committee, as a springboard into her next political office- Rolling Thunder! ~~~”Another cup o’ Tea dear”~~~

“Let’s Roll”

On Watch on May 30, 2013 at 2:57 PM

Don’t let it hit ya on the way out, MB.

She is a nutter and precisely what is wrong with the GOP. Let’s hope that whoever steps up after her is sane.

MJBrutus on May 30, 2013 at 11:14 AM

No, all those idiots who were so sure of a Romney victory are the nutters and THEY are precisely what’s wrong with the GOP.

ddrintn on May 30, 2013 at 3:09 PM

tom daschle concerned on May 30, 2013 at 12:32 PM
ddrintn on May 30, 2013 at 3:09 PM

Ad homs here! Git yer ad homs here!

MJBrutus on May 30, 2013 at 5:57 PM

She is a nutter and precisely what is wrong with the GOP. Let’s hope that whoever steps up after her is sane.

And what is that you simpering twaggot?

tom daschle concerned on May 30, 2013 at 7:42 PM

She is a nutter and precisely what is wrong with the GOP. Let’s hope that whoever steps up after her is sane.

And what is that you simpering twaggot?

tom daschle concerned on May 30, 2013 at 7:42 PM

LOL, exactly.

ddrintn on May 30, 2013 at 9:02 PM

Governor Perry deserved the granade thrown at him when he tried to push drugs on young girls on his state for kick backs from Big Pharma. The only way girls can possibly get the virus is through sexual activity.

Faramir on May 30, 2013 at 2:03 PM

But Bachmann didn’t seem to be very eager to throw grenades at Romney. That was so…odd.

ddrintn on May 30, 2013 at 9:04 PM

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