Michele Bachmann says she is imposing term limits on herself.
“Eight is enough,” the saying of congressional term-limit proponents goes. And if it’s good enough for the president, the Minnesota Republican says in her campaign website video today announcing her retirement, it’s good enough for her.
“In my opinion, well, eight years is also long enough for an individual to serve as a representative for a specific congressional district,” Bachmann says in that eight-minute video.
This is the same Bachmann who already had raised $678,666 for her 2014 reelection during the first quarter of this year. Her campaign had $1.9 million in the bank as of March 31. She had started running a campaign TV ad in Minnesota’s Twin Cities with an $85,000 buy, touting her work against the president’s “Obamacare.”
The telegenic Republican who finished sixth in her party’s Iowa Republican Party presidential caucuses last year is among the House’s most prolific fundraisers. She also is politically endangered, winning reelection in November with just over 1,000 votes in a district that Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney carried by 15 percentage points.
The key words here are: Endangered and telegenic.
Fox News needs a new Sarah Palin. And the former tax lawyer from Minnesota who co-founded the Tea Party Caucus in the House is the perfect replacement for the former Alaska governor and 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee whose three-year contract with Fox was not renewed at the end of 2012. Bachmann is smarter, more articulate — and probably still has some political prospects left in her. Bowing out is better than losing.
This is the Republican whom Democrats love to hate — a factor that Bachmann profited from in her own campaign fundraising. “Michele Bachmann’s Tea Party brand of extremism and obstruction have infected the entire Republican Congress, and her influence shows no signs of waning,” Emily Bittner of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee says of Bachmann’s retirement today. “This Republican Congress will continue to turn off Americans of all political stripes because they’re using the Bachmann playbook: put politics before solutions.”
It’s big money, that post-political television business.
Ask Palin. Ask Mike Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor who won in that Iowa party presidential caucus arena where Bachmann failed. Ask David Axelrod, the political strategist for President Barack Obama who parlayed the president’s second term into not only a political institute of his own in Chicago, but also a seat on MSNBC, the anti-Fox.
They may not get paid by the word, yet Palin cost Fox News Channel nearly $16 per word over the course of her three-year contract, the University of Minnesota has found. The self-style hockey mom uttered 189,221 words during 140 appearances under a contract that ended in January. That averages to $15.85 per word, according to the report from the university’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs. That’s $3 million.
Palin’s star rose and fell at Fox. The No. 1-rated cable news channel built a studio in her home. Her contract had started in January 2010, when she was considered a potential 2012 presidential candidate. Yet Palin had not appeared on Fox News since mid-December. During the Republican National Convention, she wrote on her Facebook page that Fox had “cancelled all my scheduled interviews tonight.”
Bill Shine, executive Vice President at FOX, issued a statement saying: “We have thoroughly enjoyed our association with Governor Palin. We wish her the best in her future endeavors.”
Failure in politics bears all kinds of fruit.
Actress Julianne Moore won the Screen Actors Guild award for her portrayal of Palin in the HBO film “Game Change” based on a book about the 2008 presidential campaign in which Republican John McCain ran with Palin.
Huckabee, an ordained Southern Baptist and musician, now hosts the Saturday evening show “Huckabee” on FOX News Channel.
He makes a reported $500,000 a year.
He toyed with running for president again last year, though in a November 2009 interview Huckabee said that if he ever decided against running for president, there was a big reason:
“The reason I wouldn’t is because this Fox gig I’ve got right now, Chris, is really, really wonderful,” Huckabee told Fox News Sunday’s Chris Wallace.
NBC News’s hiring of Axelrod, chief political strategist for both of Obama’s presidential elections, as a full-time political analyst for the news organization also is in keeping with a long tradition.
Fox hired Karl Rove, the architect of President George W. Bush’s two election campaigns. George Stephanopoulos, who advised President Bill Clinton , joined ABC News as a journalist and went on to host “Good Morning, America.”
If Minnesota’s loss is Fox’s gain, Bachmann could be back in the limelight, stronger than ever.