Bachmann ends presidential campaign

by Nick Sudheimer

After finishing a distant sixth in the Iowa caucus, Minnesota congresswoman Michelle Bachmann suspended her presidential campaign Wednesday morning, effectively ending her bid for the White House, according to a report from the Star Tribune.

“Last night the people of Iowa spoke with a very clear voice and so I have decided to stand aside,” Bachmann said to supporters.  The announcement ends one of the most controversial and talked-about campaigns in the Republican race for the oval office. 

An early front runner, Bachmann rode a wave of enthusiasm and support from tea party activists in her win of the Ames Straw Poll in August.  But the entrance of Rick Perry the following day, as well as staffing problems, dwindling campaign funds, and a blunder over the HPV virus caused Bachmann’s campaign and poll numbers to steadily decline.  She finished the Iowa caucus with only five percent of the vote, a distant sixth-place from caucus winner Mitt Romney who finished with roughly 25 percent of the vote.  Bachmann only defeated Jon Huntsman, who didn’t campaign in Iowa.

Despite the disastrous caucus finish, Bachmann initially said that she would  fight on and continue her campaign in South Carolina, but she changed her mind, canceling her planned stops in the state.

While Bachmann didn’t outline her future political plans, according to a report from CNN, by suspending her campaign – a legal technicality – Bachmann can continue to raise and spend campaign funds.  “I will continue fighting to defeat the president’s agenda of socialism,” Bachmann said.  The congresswoman has never said if she plans to run for reeclection of Minnesota’s sixth district.  Minnesota’s redistricting plans will redraw the sixth district, making it unclear which constituents she will have and who she might have to run against.

Bachmann’s campaign suspension ends all Minnesota connections to the race.  Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty withdrew from the race in August after finishing third in the Ames Straw Poll.