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The Hawkeye Caucii have claimed their first official victim as Michele Bachmann just announced that she is suspending her campaign. Bachmann was born in Iowa, spent her political career in neighboring Minnesota, and hung everything on winning the Iowa Caucuses. Given that she finished dead last among the candidates who actually contested Iowa, this decision was all but inevitable.
Bachmann has done some good things in Congress, but it isn’t hard to see how and why she became the first candidate to go from winning Ames to finishing dead last in the caucuses. The nearly universal reports out of Iowa indicated that she was aloof and refused to make herself accessible at stump events in the ways other candidates would. Additionally, when her initial post-Ames boost slipped and she went into attack mode (occasionally descending into rank demagoguery as she prominently did by appealing to anti-vaccine hysterics), she appeared increasingly shrill and personally unlikeable in debates and stump speeches.
I have to assume that anyone who runs a campaign for President while serving as a member of the House does not actually expect to win, but rather to boost their profile on the national stage for some other purpose. Time will tell whether Bachmann successfully accomplished this with her campaign but a last place finish in her own backyard will certainly be a bitter pill for her to swallow, and will make it difficult for her to claim any level of success from this campaign.