Bachmann’s options if her presidential campaign runs out of steam

Rep. Michele Bachmann greets her supporters during a rally in Costa Mesa, Calif., on Friday.
REUTERS/Alex Gallardo
Rep. Michele Bachmann greets her supporters during a rally in Costa Mesa, Calif., on Friday.

If Bachmann returns to Congress after her presidential bid, her newfound national notoriety wouldn’t necessarily translate to more congressional clout. University of Minnesota political science professor Kathryn Pearson said Bachmann would likely follow the Ron Paul model: a large national following and a willingness to break with party leaders in the name of ideology, but not much else in terms of new duties on Capitol Hill.

(Update: As a reader has noted, I missed another rather compelling option for Bachmann, which would be to challenge Sen. Al Franken in 2014. The group of Republicans looking to get in that race is going to be large, and depending on what happens next fall, Bachmann would have to be considered a possible opponent.)

Comments (15)

  1. Submitted by Jackson Cage on 09/20/2011 - 10:45 am.

    “I don’t know of any case where someone has been punished [by voters] for seeking higher office.”

    Does the name Wendell Anderson ring a bell?

  2. Submitted by Ginny Martin on 09/20/2011 - 11:35 am.

    Anderson was criticized for the way he tried to promote himself into the Senate–not for wanting to do it.

  3. Submitted by Dan Kaufman on 09/20/2011 - 12:28 pm.

    Seems like a lot of hypotheticals here. After all, don’t we all expect Michelle to be in the White House in January 2013?

  4. Submitted by Jim Roth on 09/20/2011 - 12:45 pm.

    More precisely, Anderson appointed himself to the Senate and I believe there are precedents historically even if not in Minnesota where that did not work out so well.

    That being said I also disagree with the author that she would add a “healthy” dose of anything to a national ticket.

    I agree with her former campaign manager that she does not have the “ability” needed for higher office.

  5. Submitted by Mark Stromseth on 09/20/2011 - 03:55 pm.

    “That is, of course, assuming the nominee would want her there, and whether he is looking to add a healthy dose of conservativism to the ticket.”

    What you really mean is if he is looking to add a healthy dose of idiocy to the ticket. Shelley’s someone who sees a conspiracy against the Founding Fathers at every turn, even though she has no idea who the Founding Fathers are or what they believed in.

    If she and other Tea Totalers have their way, we’re all going to be mere paupers, living day-to-day on what measley scraps we can find; subject to airborne illnesses, incurable diseases, tainted, poor quality food; homeless, uneducated and out of work for decades. The oligarchs will be living in their Ivory towers, counting their trillions.

    Not even Shelley or her nutty followers want to live in that kind of world, yet they lack the capacity to think of the consequences of their claimed desires coming true.

    Just another version of insanity.

  6. Submitted by Joe Musich on 09/20/2011 - 04:57 pm.

    Maybe she could find herself a role in”Hunger Games!”

  7. Submitted by Colin Dunn on 09/20/2011 - 05:51 pm.

    I wonder how long she’ll stay in. Bachmann’s ego is large enough that I believe she will stay in until at least next summer. She can write off bad polls as a lamestream media conspiracy. The only thing she can’t write off is the fact that she is running out of cash. The major question seems to be will her big-money donors stick with her as she nosedives into the footnotes of history.

  8. Submitted by Dennis Tester on 09/20/2011 - 10:20 pm.

    “If she and other Tea Totalers have their way, we’re all going to be mere paupers, living day-to-day on what measley scraps we can find; subject to airborne illnesses, incurable diseases, tainted, poor quality food; homeless, uneducated and out of work for decades.”

    No, but you will be free men, which for most of you would be just as frightening.

  9. Submitted by Dennis Tester on 09/20/2011 - 10:21 pm.

    When Bachmann drops out, Palin will jump in. You heard it here first.

  10. Submitted by Beryl John-Knudson on 09/21/2011 - 07:52 am.

    Thinking about Tomorrow:

    I’m waiting hopefully, after all the obsessive and empty rhetoric has died on the vine… when MB becomes a mere acronym; a past and failed figure of the present campaign time.

    A ridiculous and scary time indeed ‘Yesterday’, when this nation almost endorsed a theocratic candidate… a cult figure who NOW, in the future that is, she is but a tired old lady on the corner of Any Street, USA still trying to sell her totalitarian messages…and nobody, not even the once celeb-creating media who once followed her like dogs in heat…in the future NOW, nobody listens anymore.

  11. Submitted by Dennis Tester on 09/21/2011 - 03:28 pm.

    Well, obviously you’re not listening if you believe her messages of free markets, personal responsibility and small government to be “totalitarian.” Must be the mommy issue that most democrat men have that causes you to tune her out.

  12. Submitted by Karl Bremer on 09/21/2011 - 04:20 pm.

    She could always help sell some books:

    http://tinyurl.com/Bachmann-Book

  13. Submitted by Rich Crose on 09/22/2011 - 12:49 pm.

    She could host a cable show about shooting timberwolves in Northern Minnesota.

    Designer hunting gear and skin-softening, camouflaged make-up –there’s an un-realized market.

  14. Submitted by Dale Hoogeveen on 09/23/2011 - 06:07 am.

    Bachmann is a carny barker who will continue to work the front to some “shelly” game as long as she can pull in the rubes. It really makes no difference which game as long as she can continue to pull in the suckers; that is how long she will be a factor anywhere and where that will be.

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