Representative Michele Bachmann announced via Facebook her intent to not seek re-election in 2014. Thus ends a chapter in American political history that can only be described as strange, yet entertaining.
Bachmann was expected to face fierce competition for her congressional seat. In 2012 the four-term elected official narrowly defeated democratic challenger Jim Graves. Graves is expected to run again in 2014.
Bachmann’s decision is a victory for the Karl Rove principle of removing hard-to-elect and embarrassing Republican election candidates.
Bachmann’s 6th Congressional District is safely gerrymandered to favor a conservative Republican candidate. However, the state's post-2010 redistricting meant she inherited what the Washington Post described as “a large new crop of voters who had never been represented by the firebrand.”
Because of her style and penchant for making hard-to-prove and unsubstantiated, inflammatory remarks, she was expected to come under fierce attack in 2014.
In the posted video, Bachmann says “The law limits anyone from serving as president of the United States for more than eight years, and in my opinion, well, eight years is also long enough for an individual to serve as a representative for a specific Congressional district.“
Bachmann has recently come under fire for alleged ethics violations associated with her 2012 presidential election campaign. She is currently being investigated by the Federal Election Commission and the Office of Congressional Ethics for allegedly violating an Iowa state ethics law barring payments to state senators for campaign work. The FBI has launched an investigation to determine if there were any criminal violations.
Bachmann is best known as a Tea Party maverick, media darling, frequent critic of President Obama, and a fund-raising juggernaut. In 2010 she formed the House Tea Party Caucus and used that platform to lead the effort for fiscal restraint and the repeal of Obamacare.
She staked her career and reputation on repealing Obamacare and made it the central theme of her 2012 presidential campaign. However, like most of her legislative career, that quest was fruitless
She also received a major setback when her efforts to block same-sex marriage in Minnesota failed.
During her seven-plus years in Congress, Bachmann became a national figure, making frequent appearances on political news shows. Bachmann’s rise to national fame was as much fueled by her penchant for making highly publicized media gaffes as it was by her outspoken criticism of Obama.
Some of her best gaffes include:
1. Confusing John Wayne with John Wayne Gacy.
"Well what I want them to know is just like, John Wayne was from Waterloo, Iowa. That's the kind of spirit that I have, too."
Bachmann, who is from Iowa, mistook John Wayne the actor for John Wayne Gacy, the serial killer.
2. Stating that she was told the HPV vaccine causes retardation.
“I will tell you that I had a mother last night come up to me here in Tampa, Florida, after the debate. She told me that her little daughter took that vaccine that injection and she suffered from mental retardation thereafter.”
3. Associating the abolition movement with the wrong Founding Father.
“But we also know that the very founders that wrote those documents worked tirelessly until slavery was no more in the United States … Men like John Quincy Adams would not rest until slavery was extinguished in the country.”
John Quincy Adams was not a Founding Father. He was eight.
4. Singing “Happy Birthday” to Elvis Presley on the anniversary of his death.
“Before we get started, let's all say 'Happy Birthday' to Elvis Presley today.”
5. Extolling the non-lethal effects of carbon dioxide.
“Carbon dioxide is portrayed as harmful. But there isn't even one study that can be produced that shows that carbon dioxide is a harmful gas.”
6. Mistaking New Hampshire for Massachusetts
“You’re the state where the shot was heard around the world at Lexington and Concord.”
7. Confusing her presidential time references.
“I find it interesting that it was back in the 1970s that the swine flu broke out then under another Democrat president, Jimmy Carter”
That actually happened under Gerald Ford.