For the last few years, we’ve struggled to remember that “Michele Bachmann” is spelled with one “l” and two “n’s.”
Seriously … she’s a copy editor’s worst nightmare. The Minnesota Republican is also a certifiable nut, a politician who – like most “reformers” in Washington, D.C. – consistently chose the path of rhetorical pandering to substantive policy. Don’t get us wrong: Bachmann has generally been a reliable vote in the U.S. Congress on behalf of our tax dollars (except, of course, when she cast the deciding vote for fiscally liberal U.S. Speaker John Boehner’s reelection earlier this year) – but she never developed a gear beyond reflexive hyperbolic indignation.
Anyway … Bachmann, 57, has decided she won’t seek reelection to the U.S. House in 2014.
“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,” she said.
We agree … and commend Bachman for her decision (and the acknowledgement that rotation in office is a good thing). However we view her political career as a tremendous wasted opportunity.
“Bachmann is perhaps the biggest disappointment of the 2012 GOP field,” we wrote upon the occasion of her exit from the GOP primary. “At a time when specific fiscal policy solutions were desperately needed, she chose instead to pander to the religious right.”
That pandering earned her an early surge in socially conservative Iowa (where U.S. Sen. Rand Paul is currently pandering to the same Bible thumpers), but she couldn’t maintain her momentum – and failed to emerge as a credible alternative to fiscally liberal “Republicans” like Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich and eventual GOP nominee Mitt Romney.
When will such an alternative emerge?
We’re still waiting, people …
In addition to being a flop electorally, Bachmann’s failed 2012 presidential bid has also spawned an ethics investigation into whether she illegally coordinated with a political action committee, among other alleged violations.