When she dropped out of the race for president today, GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann didn’t say what her future would be. She’s still a sitting member of the U.S. House but hasn’t said if she’ll run for re-election. Her spokesman, Alice Stewart, said Bachmann doesn’t know what she’s going to do next.
Bachmann has a few options.
1) She could run for the U.S. Senate.
Republicans would love to see Bachman make a run against DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar, especially since a top tier GOP candidate hasn’t emerged yet. A major challenge for Bachmann is to shift gears from being an “Iowan” running for president to a Minnesotan running for the U.S. Senate. Polling also suggests that Bachmann would have a lot of ground to make up if she challenges Klobuchar.
2) She could run for re-election.
Bachmann is extremely popular among Republican activists and can raise money from small donors. But again her claim to being an Iowan could come back to hurt her. There’s no doubt those comments will be put in attack ads if she makes another run for Congress. She also raised and spent a lot of money on the race for the White House , and it isn’t clear how much she has left. If she has an empty campaign account, Bachmann will have to start from scratch and can’t ask major donors to max out to her campaign if they already wrote large dollar checks to her presidential campaign. Another deterrent is Bachmann is on the outs with GOP leadership in the House. She lost a bid for a leadership position last year and didn’t please Republican leaders when she stepped on the GOP response to last year’s State of the Union.
3) She could capitalize on her star power.
Bachmann has been a dynamic speaker who energizes many Republicans and angers many Democrats. She’s also unpredictable. All of those factors make her a prime catch for a national TV or radio host. She could also write another book, but as MPR’s Brett Neely reported earlier this month that Bachmann’s book sales have not been brisk.