29 May 2013
Rep. Bachmann term-limits herself
Michele Bachmann bucked the Democratic trend of the 2006 congressional elections to win a seat representing a Minnesota district. From that point, she worked the talk circuit, presumably in the hope that the right rhetoric would win her a presidential nomination. For a moment in 2011 she was considered a front-runner among the Republican candidates, but she faded fast. The vaunted ultra-conservative base of her party has rarely agreed on one candidate to represent them in a primary campaign; doing so might require more deference than many in the base are capable of. However popular Bachmann may be nationwide among those who see the presidency primarily as a bully pulpit, or a pulpit for bullies, her inability to unite the right behind her has limited her opportunities for advancement in the political sphere. A statewide campaign in Minnesota, where Al Franken is one of the U.S. Senators, seems unlikely. Now, amid questions about possible misuse of campaign funds, Bachmann has announced that she won't run for her House seat again next year. Unlike some politicians of her ideological stripe, she had not promised earlier to step down after a few terms. Now, however, she tells her public that since the President can serve no more than eight years, four terms is enough for a Representative. Reporters duly note that she has not ruled out a run for any higher office, but it seems most likely that she'll find work more suited to her talent in opinion media. Her Democratic rival from last year, now the favorite to succeed her, sneers that Bachmann's district wants a representative with actual "business background," but she'll probably end up making plenty of money for herself, if not making jobs for anyone else. Meanwhile, national Democrats will have one less bogeywoman to scare potential voters and donors with. Fortunately for them, the Republicans seem to have an inexhaustible stock of such figures for Democrats to exploit. If supply and demand really determined the value of such things, people like Bachmann would go for a dime a dozen.