In the wee hours of Wednesday morning, Bachmann herself made it official.
Bachmann, 57, who took office in 2007, says on the video: “My good friends: After a great deal of thought and deliberation, I have decided next year I will not seek a fifth congressional term to represent the wonderful people of the Sixth District of Minnesota. After serious consideration, I am confident that this is the right decision.”
POLITICO reported over the weekend that the Minnesota Republican faced “existential” political threats. The Federal Election Commission and the Office of Congressional Ethics are investigating the finances of last year’s Republican primary bid. And she was being challenged again by Jim Graves, a Democrat who came within 5,000 votes, or 1.2 percentage points, of unseating her last November.
As a constituent of Bachmann, I will definitely miss her tireless work in taking on the leftist machine. With government expanding its influence seemingly everyday, Bachmann was unafraid to call attention to it. As such, she was a perpetual target for invective by virtually every left wing establishment. There are few mortal humans I know of who can take the kind of verbal savagery she's endured for more than a decade (that includes her time in the local political scene in Minnesota) and yet continue to stick her chin out.
On the flip side, there are the endless soundbites where she has (to be generous) been factually deficient. I don't believe she makes misstatements with the intent to deceive. In fact, to quote my friend and NARN colleague Mitch Berg, she sometimes employs a "Ready, FIRE, Aim" methodology when giving a stump speech. This was an issue that cropped up constantly during the Presidential debates in 2011.
I also appreciate the fact that she has made this announcement about a year-and-a-half ahead of the 2014 elections. This allows Congressional District Six Republicans more than ample time to endorse a replacement. As I write this, the list of potential GOP candidates to replace Bachmann has reached double digits.
Again, I will miss Bachmann as my representative. However, those feeling of regret have been more than soothed by the wind going out the proverbial sails of the Graves campaign. Literally the only thing Graves had going for him was that Bachmann was his opponent. In fact, the Democrat Campaign Congressional Committee had tabbed the MN CD6 race as one of the top five they were committed to flipping from Republican to Democrat. The DCCC will now have to seriously consider whether to invest seriously in an R +10 district where their only advantage (i.e. a vulnerable incumbent) has now vanished.
Heck, will Graves even stick around after this announcement? I don't know if that's a sure thing either.