The Spectacle Blog

What’s Next for Michele Bachmann?

By on 5.29.13 | 1:15PM

In the nearly nine-minute video Michele Bachmann released today to announce that she will not seek re-election, it's odd how much 'splainin' she does.

She explains that she doesn't consider public service an occupation, says that she's not giving up the fight, and lists her accomplishments. And don't you dare think she feels besieged. She spends almost a minute at the beginning of the video making that point clear:

Be assured, my decision was not in any way influenced by any concerns about my being re-elected to Congress. I've always in the past defeated candidates who are capable, qualified, and well funded. And I have every confidence that if I ran, I would again defeat the individual who I defeated last year, who recently announced that he is once again running.

And rest assured, this decision was not impacted in any way by the recent inquiries into the activities of my former presidential campaign, or my former presidential staff. It was clearly understood that compliance with all rules and regulations was an absolute necessity for my presidential campaign, and I have no reason to believe that that was not the case.

What a mouthful. That sound you hear is a press secretary somewhere weeping sadly into a Jack Daniel's.

Still, the video raises more questions than it answers. Ed Morrissey delves into the mystery Hot Air:

It’s possible that she may be eyeing the Senate race against Al Franken — and since practically no one else is, she’d probably win the nomination by default if she chose. If that’s the case, why bother retiring now? She could wait for the moment that she wants to jump into the race to announce that she’s shifting to the Senate without the formal retirement announcement.

Plus, while Bachmann has done well in CD-6, she’s not that strong in the rest of the state. Minnesotans won’t elect a conservative firebrand to statewide office any time soon, as much as we might hope that Bachmann’s fundraising and name brand might carry her over the finish line. Bachmann is too smart a politician to not know this. She might do better in a gubernatorial bid against Mark Dayton, but that’s just a matter of degree rather than a different outcome.

I think that's probably a fair analysis. It's possible Bachmann actually plans to retire from the limelight. Yet most politicians who decide not to seek re-election simply make the announcement at a press conference or let it slip to the hometown newspaper. Why spend the time and money to create a campaign-style video, unless one is planning to, you know... campaign?

A couple more reactions from around the web:

Glenn Kessler, Washington Post fact-checker “She was great to cover because she was consistently and unapologetically wrong.”

Matt Lewis at the Daily Caller: "Is it just me, or does the cadence and music remind you of Delta’s In-flight Safety Video?"

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