Michele Bachmann Won’t Run For Re-Election


Faced with the twin threats of a growing ethics investigation and the prospect of a repeat fight with a challenger that came close to beating her in 2012, Michele Bachmann announced last night that she will not be running for re-election:

Representative Michele Bachmann, the Minnesota Republican who made an ill-fated run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012, announced Wednesday that she would not seek a fifth term in Congress next year.

She made the announcement just six months after being re-elected in what was her most challenging Congressional campaign since she was first elected to the House in 2006. Her announcement also comes as her former presidential campaign faces inquiries into its fund-raising activities.

“I have decided next year I will not seek a fifth Congressional term,” she said in a video on her campaign Web site. “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,” she added.

Mrs. Bachmann is known for her strong anti-abortion stance and adherence to Tea Party values but her presidential campaign was marked by frequent stumbles and her candidacy failed to catch fire in a crowded field of candidates that included Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, Gov. Rick Perry of Texas and Herman Cain, who all eventually lost to Mitt Romney.

In her congressional race last year, Mrs. Bachmann won re-election by just 4,200 votes out of 356,000 votes cast, beating the hotelier Jim Graves, who was greatly outspent. Mr. Graves recently announced that he would seek the seat again.

“My decision was not in any way influenced by any concerns about my being re-elected to Congress,” she said. “If I ran I would again defeat the individual who I defeated last year.”

Her announcement comes as the Office of Congressional Ethics looks into claims by Ms. Bachmann’s former campaign aides that she may have improperly used money raised by one of her House-affiliated political action committees to help her presidential bid in the run-up to the Iowa presidential caucuses in January 2012. She came in sixth in that race, even though she campaigned heavily in the state. The defeat led her to pull out of the race the next day.

While her presidential bid initially excited Tea Party supporters, Mrs. Bachmann would later find herself upstaged by conservative opponents like Mr. Cain and Mr. Santorum, and she was prone to misstatements, including saying the vaccine against the human papillomavirus was linked to “mental retardation.”

But her campaign was not without impact. Her victory in the Ames, Iowa, straw poll in the summer of 2011 forced Tim Pawlenty, the former Republican governor of Minnesota, to drop out of the contest early, after he did poorly in his neighboring state.

In her video announcement, Mrs. Bachmann did not rule out returning to politics in the future.

“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,” she said.

There really isn’t anywhere else for Bachmann to go politically, polling statewide in Minnesota show her being mostly a non-factor outside of her own district, so I don’t expect this to be the beginning of a bid or higher office. Instead, I expect we’ll see Bachmann showing up on the speaking circuit and following in the footsteps of other failed conservative politicians and showing up on Fox News. In any case, I doubt she’ll be out of the media completely so I’m sure we’ll be treated to her special brand of bizarre for some time to come.

FILED UNDER: 2014 Election, Congress, US Politics, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Sam Malone says:

    America is a far, far, better place today because of this.
    She’s one of the biggest liars in politics. Not to mention a hypocrite…sucking up farm subsidies and medicare payments to her gay husbands pray the gay away “christian” counseling practice.
    75% of what she says is at best mostly false, and usually worse.

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    OH NO!!!! Please, say it ain’t so!!!

  3. Tony W says:

    Getting teary-eyed here….

  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Tony W: I know… She was the gift that kept on giving, and giving, and giving, and giving….

  5. Dave D says:

    Who will take on the Muslim Brotherhood’s infiltration of this Administration? She is selfish is what she is.

  6. David D. from Philly says:

    I told my wife the news this morning and she did a little happy dance. What a great way to start the day.

  7. Just keep in mind: this has NOTHING to do with re-election chances nor ethics probes.

  8. Anderson says:

    More money to be made on the lecture/book/Fox circuit.

  9. Happy says:

    … nice!

    Is this where we start to dance and break into a chorus of “Ding Dong the witch is dead…” ?

  10. legion says:

    Instead, I expect we’ll see Bachmann showing up on the speaking circuit and following in the footsteps of other failed conservative politicians and showing up on Fox News.

    that’s really all she’s got left. Her particularly blatant brand of crazy lying doesn’t withstand scrutiny very well – she could get away with blatant BS within her state, but on the national stage her total lack of connections to reality would have quickly become apparent. The only reason she lasted in the Presidential primaries is that Perry became the “Golden Boy” for he evangelicals once it became apparent Santorum was a non-starter. That kept the attention elsewhere.

  11. Stonetools says:

    Hope the Democrats can pick up her seat. They almost did last time.
    Good riddance to bad rubbish.

  12. Stonetools says:

    Also too, maybe we’ve reached and surpassed peak wingnut and the wingnut tide is ebbing. Hey, a guy can dream…

  13. bk says:

    Now who’s going to save us from energy-efficient light bulbs?

  14. Gustopher says:

    Seems a bit early in the term to announce she’s not running — I think she’s the first to do so, or close to it. Will she stay in office for her entire term, or will she pull a Palin?

    Also, we will miss her insanity and her flamboyantly gay husband’s desperate efforts to pray away the gay.

  15. Caj says:

    Oh no! How will the country survive without her? All that brain power gone! Well, it’s been gone for years as she talks so much crap it must be on overload! Of course Michelle, it’s got nothing to do with the ethic investigation…..oh for Gods sake woman, how stupid do you think we are?
    Two of the crazy gang gone and going! Allen West gone and now this pure genius going. Perhaps she can now work with her husband and they can pray away the gay together. Won’t that be nice?

  16. gVOR08 says:

    @Gustopher: Is that a nice way to talk about Marcuthhhhhh (“Sounds like steam escaping.”) Bachmann? Unfortunately, it probably hurts the odds of a Dem pickup.

  17. Ron Beasley says:

    @Stonetools: Actually this makes it less likely. It is a strongly Republican district but Bachman could have been beaten.

  18. anjin-san says:

    So she gets lucrative right wing rubber chicken circuit speaking gigs & some airtime on Fox. A nice government pension. She and her husband continue to do some feeding at the public trough. The beat goes on…

  19. JoshB says:

    I picture her spending her years having Benghazi hearings with her cats, John Spay-nor and Eric Cat-tor.

  20. Argon says:

    Michele who?