The Minnesota congresswoman announced this morning she will not be running for reelection to the House in 2014.
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.
Bachmann added on the 8½-minute video: "[T]he 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 any individual to serve as a representative for a specific congressional district.
"Be assured: My decision was not in any way influenced by any concerns about my being reelected to Congress. … I have every confidence that if I ran, I would again defeat the individual who I defeated last year, who recently announced he is once again running.
Reid Wilson: "Her political troubles made her one of the few members of Congress who would be more difficult for her party to defend than an open seat would be. That is, Republicans would rather run a fresh candidate without Bachmann's baggage than try to defend her suburban Twin Cities district. In 2012, Mitt Romney took 56.5 percent of the vote in Bachmann's district; Bachmann eked out a win over DemocratJim Graves by just 1.2 percentage points, or about 4,300 votes. Bachmann may have been the loudest member of the class of 2006, the one who inspired the most heated arguments. But she will hardly be the most consequential; her enduring legacy may be the lessons she taught in how to lose friends and become completely uninfluential. With her exit, Democrats lose a potent fundraising tool. Republicans lose a headache they would just as soon do without."
Byron York summarized her presidential bid last year:
WEST DES MOINES -- If Michele Bachmann was ever intimidated by running for president, ever scared of taking a position, ever cowed by advisers urging caution -- if she was ever any of those things, she never showed it. Hers was the most fearless, flat-out, in-your-face presence in the Republican presidential field, and as a candidate she was capable of launching searing attacks on her GOP rivals -- just ask Rick Perry, or Newt Gingrich, or Ron Paul. But when Bachmann bowed out of the race on Wednesday morning, just hours after finishing sixth in a seven-candidate field in the Iowa caucuses, she spoke kindly of her now-former adversaries and kept the focus on the man who gave birth to her candidacy: Barack Obama.