After a brief but highly storied career in the House of Representatives which saw more than its share of controversial moments, Michele Bachmann will be leaving Congress in January. One of the early leaders of the Tea Party, (who received the critical Ed Morrissey bump) Bachmann earned her stripes by infuriating the liberal media and became a regular MSNBC staple for more events than could be mentioned here. Her ill fated 2012 presidential bid didn’t last much longer than the Iowa straw poll, but she was a lightening rod at the early debates. So, is she all done now?
An ABC interview suggests that you may have to wait a bit longer to find out.
As she wrapped up her congressional business this past week, Bachmann said she is determined to play a role in the next presidential election. The possibility of Democrats nominating Hillary Rodham Clinton will make the voices of Republican women more important than ever, she said.
“I occupy a very unique space,” she said. “I am the only woman who has been in presidential debates on the Republican ticket.”
Her own presidential bid began in June 2011 and peaked with a win in a key Iowa straw poll, but she never found traction with voters as real ballots were cast. While she has “no intention right now of running for president,” she also won’t rule it out.
“I think it will develop as we go what my level of involvement will be,” she said.
Honestly, I think there’s a window of opportunity here, but it’s not as a 2016 candidate for the presidency. Ed and I debated this extensively in 2012 and my opinion has not been overly swayed since then. Bachmann has a lot of baggage from her headline grabbing early days which the media will always keep in the ammo bag and it’s just too easy to run her up the flagpole for the MSM barrage. She did surprisingly well in the debates last time around, but the numbers show that it was never enough to build up a national following beyond the confines of Ed’s home stomping grounds.
But does she really need to make another White House bid? More than a few people have compared her to Sarah Palin in the past. Palin has remained an active player without actually making a run for office, using her PAC to fund a number of conservative candidates and her influence to speak on behalf of hopefuls who would otherwise be considered dark horses. Bachmann already has a PAC of her own and could certainly fire up crowds in either campaign stops or big ticket events like CPAC. Considering the modern lay of the land in Republican politics, there is little reason for her to abandon the field of battle entirely.
As to a second presidential run? I doubt it, but who knows?