The Washington Post

Michele Bachmann steps up to the endorsement plate

Michele Bachmann is stepping up to the plate to do the right thing. 

The next question is, how long will it take the boys in the GOP presidential game to follow her lead?

View Photo Gallery: Rep. Michele Bachmann, who made a name for herself on the campaign trail with her fiery rhetoric and social conservatism, announced that she would end her presidential run in January.

Thursday afternoon, she's endorsing her former competitor and presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney. The timing and political acumen in this area is exquisite for the social conservative congresswoman from Minnesota.

She avoided endorsing another candidate after dropping out of the race in January, unlike Texas Gov. Rick Perry who immediately threw his support behind Newt Gingrich, making Perry a bit of a double loser. And she stayed on the sidelines through the sparring between Romney and former senator Rick Santorum. 

But she's stepping out for Romney the day after Gingrich exited the race (finally).  Despite discontent with Romney among some conservatives, Bachmann's creds should stay intact with her Wednesday endorsement of Richard Mourdock over incumbent Sen. Richard Lugar in the Indiana Senate primary. 

The endorsement gives Bachmann one more turn in the national spotlight.

And, it creates a diplomatic image, especially when contrasted with Gingrich and Santorum. While the two exited stage right, they have yet to return to the stage at Romney's side with a ringing endorsement

Sour grapes, Rick and Newt?

Bachmann is sure to be questioned about the times she disparaged Romney on the campaign trail, especially when she told ABC's Jonathan Karl in January that Romney couldn't beat President Obama. (Ouch!) 

Meanwhile, Rep. Ron Paul (R-Tex.) is still hanging on, with his fervent supporters continuing to rack up delegates at the state level, as The Fix points out today. 

So there still could be some rocky moments as Romney tries to put one of the craziest primary seasons in recent memory behind him.

If you want to reminisce, a recent Saturday Night Live opener puts it all in perspective to the tune of Green Day's "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)."

But really, GOP guys (that includes you, Ron Paul), it's time to put on your big-boy pants and face the facts. Romney will be the nominee.

Follow a woman's lead and step up to the plate yourself.

Sandra Fish teaches journalism at the University of Colorado and has reported on politics in Iowa, Florida and Colorado. Follow her on Twitter at @fishnette



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