Is Michele Bachmann back already?
No, this question does not mean she’s undoing her retirement. If you remember, last week Representative Bachmann (R) of Minnesota announced that she would not run for reelection to her House seat. This was kind of a surprise and led to lots of pundit speculation that she was stepping down because she feared losing next time around, or due to federal investigations into her campaign finances.
But don’t cry for her, Anoka County! In her first extended interview since the announcement, Bachmann pointed out the obvious: Her current term does not expire until January 2015. So all those stories headlined “Bachmann Bows Out” and so forth were premature.
So the chairman of the House Tea Party Caucus will still be on the job, talking about the IRS scandal, repealing ObamaCare, and what she termed the “serial lawlessness” of the Obama administration.
“I’m not going away. I’m not leaving Washington,” said Bachmann.
She did say she was looking for a “different perch” from which to carry on her various crusades after her term ended. Nothing like launching a job search on national TV, is there? Especially if you’re talking on a national TV network that itself might be a future employer.
But that does not mean she’ll never seek office again, apparently. She said in the interview that she might engage in another campaign. Mr. Hannity waited until the end to ask her the big question: Does that mean she’s gearing up for 2016 and a presidential run?
“I’m not taking anything off the table but ... that’s not the No. 1 item I’m looking at right now,” said Bachmann. “I’m in the game for the long haul.”
So, buck up, James Carville. Last week the raging Cajun Democratic consultant expressed remorse that Bachmann was leaving the national stage, calling it a “sad day.” Her inflammatory and sometimes inaccurate comments have in the past made her a favorite foil for left-leaning pundits.
And sorry about that, Karl Rove. The longtime Republican political operative has been dismissive of Bachmann in the past for the same reasons that Mr. Carville embraced her. Earlier this week, Mr. Rove told ABC News host George Stephanopoulos that her impending retirement would make it easier for Republicans to hold her Minnesota seat, and complained that she “did nothing” in her positions as Tea Party Caucus chairman.
“Now the position has opened, someone next year will accept the chairmanship of it. And they may do something with it,” Rove said.