Rep. Michele Bachmann announced in a videotaped message to supporters on Wednesday that she would not seek re-election to her Sixth District congressional seat.
Her announcement doesnt't come as a surprise to political analysts and reporters, who had heard rumors ever since Bachmann's unsuccessful presidential run, and her narrow win (less than a two-point margin) against DFL opponent Jim Graves. With Graves announcing another challenge, and with a Congressional ethics panel and the FBI investigating alleged finance improprieties in her Iowa presidential campaign, Bachmann had been very quiet in recent months. Only the revelation that the IRS was targeting tea party and conservative non-profit organizations for special scrutiny brought her back before the microphones.
Bachmann will leave a strange legacy. She has always been known more for the things she said than the things she did in Congress. She did author a successful bill to replace the St. Croix River bridge in her district, but her claims to leadership on budget and policy issues are exaggerated. She is a favorite of the tea party crowd mainly for her willingness to criticize liberals in Congress, whose very Americanism she once challenged, and the Obama administration for this or that, from claiming "death panels" would decide what kind of care the elderly would receive under Obamacare to accusing the White House of excessively extravagant spending. She has also become the darling of media fact checking panels, who regularly find that her outrageous statements usually have little basis in fact.
We have no doubt that Bachmann will continue to work for conservative issues and causes in the future.