Minnesota congresswoman Michele Bachmann dropped out of the GOP presidential race on Wednesday morning in Des Moines after a fairly disastrous sixth-place finish at the Iowa caucuses. “I believe that if we are going to repeal Obamacare, turn our country around, and take back our country, we must do so united,” explained the one-time front-runner, whose campaign began to collapse almost immediately after her triumph at the Ames Straw Poll in August. “And I believe that we must rally behind the person that our country and our party and our people select to be that standard-bearer.” In characteristic Bachmann fashion, she left her audience with a dire warning: If Americans don’t elect the right candidate next November (she wouldn’t suggest who that might be), the United States would become a socialist country. Take it to the bank.
Bachmann’s campaign might be history, but no one can ever take away the memories. She represented—to paraphrase Kennedy—the greatest collection of paranoia, factual inaccuracy, and overheated rhetoric since Herman Cain dined alone. And she will be missed. Here’s a quick look at the road we traveled:
- Her proposal to build a border fence through the Rio Grande and across the length of Big Bend National Park, even though that would have the unintended consequence of diverting the course of the river and, by extension, the US–Mexico border.
- Her autobiography, which made its first of many egregious factual errors on the very first page.
- The time she tried to sway undecided Iowa voters by dancing to Train’s “Soul Sister.”
- Bachmann Eyes!
- The time she accused Rick Perry of giving teenage girls a vaccine that made them “retarded,” was soundly rebuked by the entire pediatric community, and insisted that she was just relaying what had been told to her:
- Her obsessions with lightbulbs, the regulation of which she believes is a steppingstone to United Nations tyranny.
- The time she promised to close the US embassy in Iran, which does not currently exist.
- Her insistence that the CIA had outsourced its interrogation policy to the ACLU.
- The time she paid strategist Ed Rollins $90,000 to help run her campaign.
- Her use of the title “Dr.,” even though she is not a doctor by any commonly accepted standard.
Why does the GOP race suddenly seem a little less marvelous?