The Fix: Michele Bachmann

Michele Bachmann, by the numbers

Michele Bachmann, by the numbers

Rep. Michele Bachmann is retiring after four terms, but in that time she made more news than most House members make in a lifetime.

Below, we take a look at the Minnesota Republican's political career, by the numbers.

8: The number of years she will have served in the House. Bachmann was first elected in 2006 after Rep. Mark Kennedy (R-Minn.) opted to run (unsuccessfully) for Senate.

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Fix Caption Contest: Michele Bachmann tries out Google Glass

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) is trying out the latest technological craze: Google Glass.

The Minnesota congresswoman was photographed outside a House Republican meeting Wednesday morning sporting the product, which is basically a voice-activated computer mounted to a pair of glasses.

Knowing The Fix's readers as we do, we thought you'd come up with some great captions for it. So check out the pictures below and take to the comments section at the bottom of the post.

To the winner: a signed copy of "The Gospel According to the Fix."

How Michele Bachmann finally jumped the shark

Rep. Michele Bachmann is no stranger to controversy or — as we found during the GOP presidential primary — stretching the truth.

In fact, the fact-checking Web site Politifact has rated 31 of Bachmann’s public statements to be either “false” or even worse — “pants on fire” — one of the worst records of any politician. And The Washington Post’s great Fact-Checker blog gave her four Pinocchios on six different occasions during the GOP presidential primary.
Rep. Michele Bachmann in June. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Today, though, for arguably the first time in her congressional career, the Minnesota GOP congresswoman is finding herself publicly on the outs with some in her own party. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), among others, have publicly criticized Bachmann for her suggestion that State Department officials, including longtime Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin, might be part of a Muslim Brotherhood conspiracy to infiltrate the U.S. government. (Though notably, Newt Gingrich defended her this morning.)

So what gives? Why did Bachmann, whose history of bending the truth and saying controversial things has already been well-documented, finally go too far for her colleagues?

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Ranking the Republican presidential candidates: The best and worst

Ranking the Republican presidential candidates: The best and worst

The Republican primary is now over. Former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum’s decision to end his bid on Tuesday means that former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney will be the Republican standard-bearer against President Obama in the fall.

The end of the race means a time for reflection in Fixworld. (We are nothing if not introspective.) And, regular readers know the Fix loves looking back at the campaign that was and deciding who did it best and, more deliciously, who did it worst. (Some people call this back seat driving; we call it “analysis”!)

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Next for Michele Bachmann — retirement?

Next for Michele Bachmann — retirement?

Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann has spent the better part of the last year telling the nation that she is an Iowan. So how’s that going to play with her constituents in Minnesota?

We may never find out.

Political observers in Minnesota are skeptical that Bachmann will seek reelection this year while at the same time acknowledging that she would likely be a heavy favorite if she were to run for re-election in her current district.

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Bachmann to drop out of presidential race: 'No regrets’

Bachmann to drop out of presidential race: 'No regrets’

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) is ending her White House bid, she announced in a press conference Wednesday.

“Last night, the people of Iowa spoke with a very clear voice, and so, I have decided to stand aside,” Bachmann told a crowd of supporters in Des Moines, the morning after her dismal sixth-place showing in the state's primary caucuses. “I have no regrets.”

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2012 Iowa caucuses: The 6 counties to watch

It’s caucus day!

After months of campaigning, debating and spinning, the moment of reckoning has arrived, as the Iowa caucuses officially kick off the Republican presidential nomination fight tonight.
The sun sets over a farm Sunday in Johnston, Iowa. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

We’ll have tons of coverage throughout the day — both on The Fix as well as our Election 2012 blog — and a live blog tracking all the results right here beginning at 8 p.m. eastern time.

In the meantime — and, yes, the wait for results will be interminable for all of us — here’s six counties to keep an eye on as the results roll in. They’ll tell us where the race is headed before it gets there.

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Afternoon Fix: Super PAC that backed Bachmann cuts Romney ad

A pro-Bachmann super PAC is now helping Romney, Perry doesn’t know about Lawrence v. Texas, Michael Reagan is backing Gingrich and Kelly Clarkson loves Ron Paul.

Make sure to sign up to get “Afternoon Fix” in your e-mail inbox every day by 5 (ish) p.m.

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Iowa Republican debate: Winners and losers

Iowa Republican debate: Winners and losers

The last Republican presidential debate of 2011 is in the books. It was a remarkably sedate affair with the frontrunning candidates — former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney — playing it safe and staying away from any direct attacks on one another.

If you missed any of the debate, never fear: We live-blogged it! We also jotted down some winners and, yes, some losers from the night that was. Our picks are below. Agree? Disagree? The comments section awaits.

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Iowa Republican debate: Winners and losers

Iowa Republican debate: Winners and losers

It’s all over but the spinning at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa where six Republican presidential candidates duked it out earlier this evening.

We live-blogged the debate but also managed to come up with some of the winners — and losers — from the night that was. Our picks are below. Have some of your own? The comments section awaits.

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The Herman Cain collapse: Who benefits?

The Herman Cain collapse: Who benefits?

Businessman Herman Cain’s acknowledgment earlier Tuesday that he is “reassessing” his presidential bid in the wake of allegations from Atlanta woman Ginger White that he engaged in 13-year extramarital affair looks very much like the end of his aspirations for national office.

Even before the allegations from White surfaced Monday, Cain and his campaign had been waylaid by allegations of sexual harassment — charges that Cain denied but that effectively squashed any momentum he had built in the race. Polling conducted prior to these latest allegations confirmed that Cain’s wave had begun to recede long before today.

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CNN national security debate: What to watch for

Eight Republican candidates will gather for the billionth — oops, sorry, twelfth— time tonight in Washington, D.C. for a debate focused on national security.

The festivities get started at 8 p.m. on CNN — we will ramp up the Fix live-blog around 7:30 p.m. — but in the meantime we thought we’d offer a few things to keep an eye on in tonight’s debate.

As always, your thoughts are welcome in the comments section.

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Michele Bachmann, gaffe-proof

Michele Bachmann, gaffe-proof

On Thursday night, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) told Fox News that she hasn't “had a gaffe or something that I've done that has caused me to fall in the polls.”

The idea that Bachmann hasn’t made any gaffes in her roller-coaster campaign for the 2012 presidential nomination is far-fetched at best. But in a sense, Bachmann is right. Her fall had (almost) everything to do with Texas Gov. Rick Perry and (almost) nothing to do with her misstatements.

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Occupy protesters (briefly) force Michele Bachmann off stage

Occupy protesters (briefly) force Michele Bachmann off stage

Police escorted Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) off the stage at her own foreign policy speech today after a group of Occupy Charleston protesters swarmed the event and shouted her down. 

“This will only take a minute,” about two dozen activists chanted as Bachmann stood on a podium aboard the USS Yorktown in South Carolina. The protesters stood and shouted in unison using the “human microphone” technique that has become a signature of the Occupy Wall Street movement. “We have a message for Ms. Bachmann.”

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GOP presidential debate: What to watch for

GOP presidential debate: What to watch for

Eight Republican presidential candidates will gather tonight at 8 p.m. at Oakland University in Michigan for their tenth debate of the primary season.

We’ll be live-blogging the proceedings — natch! — but thought we’d provide a viewer’s guide to keep you occupied in the hours before things get started in earnest.

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All politics is national? In 2012, yes.

All politics is national? In 2012, yes.

It’s accepted wisdom in presidential politics that national polling on a primary race is largely meaningless since the nominees of both parties are typically picked in the crucible of the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary.

But, in the 2012 Republican presidential primary, it appears as though the national dynamic is overriding in-state realities and, in many ways, dictating the terms of the races in these early states.

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The contenders and the pretenders of the Republican race

The contenders and the pretenders of the Republican race

And then there were eight.

As in eight candidates on this month’s Friday presidential Line — the first time this election cycle that we aren’t including ten Republicans in our rankings of who might wind up as the GOP nominee.

Why? Because with the no-go decisions by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former Alaska governor Sarah Palin , there simply aren’t ten people left in the Republican field who can make even a semi-reasonable case that they could wind up as the party’s standard-bearer against President Obama next November.

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Afternoon Fix: Former Bachmann staffers cite “chaos” in scathing letter

Michele Bachmann’s staff did quit and they want you to know why, Steve Forbes endorsed Rick Perry, John Sununu endorsed Mitt Romney, and Shelley Berkley says she wasn’t threatened.

Make sure to sign up to get “Afternoon Fix” in your e-mail inbox every day by 5 (ish) p.m.!

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Republican debate: What we learned in Las Vegas

In an attempt to stave off debate withdrawal — there won’t be another one until, gasp, November 9 — we spent the morning sifting through last night’s rock ‘em, sock ‘em affair in Las Vegas in search of lessons learned.


(RICHARD BRIAN - REUTERS)

Our thoughts are below. Have some of your own? Offer them in the comments section.

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Las Vegas Republican debate: Winners and losers

The eighth Republican presidential debate — and fifth in the last six weeks! — is over.


LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 18: (L-R) Former CEO of Godfather's Pizza Herman Cain, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Texas Gov. Rick Perry participate in the Republican presidential debate airing on CNN, October 18, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
We liveblogged the whole thing but also made time to scribble down a few of the best — and the worst — moments of the night.

Our take is below. Have thoughts of your own on the debate? The comments section awaits.

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Las Vegas Republican debate: The Live Blog

Tonight at 8 p.m. eastern time seven Republican candidates running for president will take the stage in Las Vegas for the fifth debate in the last six weeks.

And what would a Republican debate be without a Fix live blog? (Answer: It would be, somehow, empty. Like “Two and a Half Men” without Charlie Sheen. Or Van Halen without David Lee Roth.)

Starting around 7:30 p.m. — we like to warm up to avoid injury — the Fix posse will be detailing every quote and note from the debate. If you’ve never participated in a Fix live blog before, there’s no time like the present. It’s “Mystery Science Theater 3000” and the “McLaughlin Group” rolled into one. Sort of.

Come. Comment. Hang out. It’s the only way to watch a debate!

Afternoon Fix: Bachmann wishes she’d Googled Rollins

Michele Bachmann and Ed Rollins wish they had googled each other, House Democrats are after 9-9-9, the GOP convention has a logo and another Redskins alum could be in Congress.

Make sure to sign up to get “Afternoon Fix” in your e-mail inbox every day by 5 (ish) p.m.!

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Las Vegas Republican debate: What to watch for

Las Vegas Republican debate: What to watch for

For the fifth time in the last six weeks and the eighth time in 2011 — neither of those are typos — the Republican presidential field will gather on a debate stage with Las Vegas providing the backdrop to tonight’s tete a tete.

Unlike the last several debates there will be seven not eight men and women on stage as former Utah governor Jon Huntsman is boycotting the debate in solidarity with the New Hampshire Republican party, which is upset with the Silver State for scheduling their presidential caucus on Jan. 14, 2012. (Follow all of that?)

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Sarah Palin, second-tier candidate

Sarah Palin, second-tier candidate

Amid the “will she or won’t she” speculation about former Alaska governor Sarah Palin’s 2012 presidential plans, one important thing seems to be getting lost: Palin is simply not a top-tier candidate.

New numbers from a CNN/Opinion Research poll confirm it. In a hypothetical 2012 Republican primary, Palin stood at 7 percent — tied with businessman Herman Cain and Texas Rep. Ron Paul, neither of whom are considered anything but the longshots for the nomination.

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The end of straw polls?

There have been four straw polls since Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann won the Ames Straw Poll on Aug. 13, each won by a different Republican candidate.


(Businessmann Herman Cain won the P5 straw poll in Florida this weekend.)
Businessman Herman Cain claimed the biggest victory, winning the P5 straw poll in Florida on Saturday. Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney won at Mackinac Island in Michigan on Sunday. And Rep. Ron Paul and former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum won straw votes in California and Pennsylvania respectively.

Of that group, only one — Romney — is given a serious chance of winning the 2012 presidential nomination, a fact which raises a critical question: Do straw polls matter?

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GOP Debate: What we learned

GOP Debate: What we learned

The only thing more fun than live-blogging a presidential debate is sifting through the aftermath and figuring out what it all means.

With a (short) night’s sleep to think on the fifth Republican presidential debate, we came up with a few lessons learned from the night that was.

Agree or disagree? Sound off in the comments section.

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Why Rick Perry’s debate performances haven’t hurt him (yet)

Texas Gov. Rick Perry has been an uneven — to put it nicely — presence in the first two debates of his 2012 Republican presidential bid.


Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, left, and Texas Gov. Rick Perry during a Republican debate Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2011, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Mike Carlson)
For every strong moment, Perry has had two (at least) where he seems either taken aback by the level of vitriol directed his way by his rivals or simply uncertain of exactly how he should address some of his more problematic past positions.

From Social Security to the HPV vaccine to immigration, Perry has struggled to find answers that put those issues behind him.

And it doesn’t matter. Or at least it doesn’t matter yet.

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Florida takes center stage in 2012 campaign

For the next 12 days, Florida will stand at the center of the 2012 Republican race, playing host to two debates — one tonight and a second on Sept. 22 — as well as a straw poll that will help shape the presidential nomination fight.

The next week and a half will also serve as the precursor to the Sunshine State primary early next year — a contest that many people believe could decide the identity of the party’s nominee.

“Early caucuses and primaries give the candidates a chance to shine with a certain segment of the electorate, but in Florida candidates will face the largest and most diverse GOP primary electorate of any early state,” said Sally Bradshaw, a longtime political adviser to former governor Jeb Bush.

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