Posted on | January 4, 2012 | 35 Comments
UPDATE 10:40 a.m. CT:
WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — Rep. Michele Bachammn just announced she would quit the 2012 presidential race. She praised God and spoke about the Founders of the American Republic, vowing her continued determination to repeal ObamaCare, calling it a formula for leading America down the road to socialism.
UPDATE 10:55 a.m. CT: Bachmann’s speech here was, in some ways, typical of her campaign, including the fact that it began 20 minutes past the scheduled time. She was almost constantly behind schedule during her travels here.
Also, an event that a media advisory announced as an “availability” — a term that usually means “press conference” — was in fact just a speech. The candidate took no questions. Afterwards, her press secretary Alice Stewart spoke to a gaggle of reporters for about 10 minutes. Stewart said that Bachmann has no plans to endorse any other candidate at this point.
But of course, plans change. Bachmann had plans last night to continue her campaign, Stewart said, but woke up this morning and decided to quit the race.
I’ll try to update later with some more news, photos, etc.
UPDATE 11:27 a.m. CT: ABC News has the quotes:
“Last night, the people of Iowa spoke with a very clear voice, so I have decided to stand aside,” Bachmann said at a news conference, flanked by her parents, husband and five children. “I have no regrets, none whatsoever. We never compromised our principles and we can leave this race knowing we ran it with the utmost integrity.”
Just spoke to Alice Stewart again. I told her that when I was complaining about the disastrous communications operation of the Herman Cain campaign, I forwarded Alice’s press releases to J.D. Gordon and Mark Block with notes: “This is what a campaign ‘media advisory’ looks like!”
I’ve always liked Bachmann, and still do, and the role she played in this campaign was at times crucial. It was her remark during the September 12 Tampa debate — “innocent little 12-year-old girls” — that put the first serious wound into Rick Perry. And her phrase “Newt Romney,” lumping Gingrich in with the moderate Massachusetts governor, did a lot to undermine Gingrich’s credibility as a Tea Party candidate.
So why, you may ask, did I jump from the Cain Train to the Santorum Express, rather than shifting my focus to Bachmann? I don’t really know. Sometimes, I think, you just go where God leads you and take whatever you find there. And I hope that Michele Bachmann finds only blessings and joy in wherever God leads her now.
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So much for sleeping in on the day after the caucuses, huh? She is expected to announce she’s quitting, but who knows, In a crazy year like this, what she might do? But if this is the last time I get to see her on the campaign trail, I can’t miss it.
Now I’ve got to get ready for a 10 a.m. CT press conference on the other side of Des Moines, which will probably delay my packing up here at the National Affairs Desk until past checkout time.
Dadgum Republicans. No wonder Hitler hates ‘em.
UPDATE 10:08 a.m. CT: I’m now at the Marriott in West Des Moines, where Bachmann is late for her own press conference.