There has been a pretty significant surprise in Congress this week. Repbulican, and Tea Party favorite, Michele Bachmann has announced that she will not be running for re-election next fall. Bachmann served the sixth district of Minnestoa for five terms, but only narrowly won re-election in November.
Representative Bachmann is known for her infamous statements regarding the HPV vaccine, her extremely conservative views on social issues including same-sex marriage, many of which are very unpopular, and an unsuccessful presidential run in 2012. I’m not going to address those any further because this is not the point. Honestly, I am pleased that Bachmann is retiring from the House. But it’s not just because I disagree with the vast majority of her policies. It is also because I cannot say that I am a fan of career politicians and I think it’s a good thing that Bachmann is leaving after only ten years in office.
I am not a fan of Bachmann. At all. But this is the one time when I couldn’t agree with what she decided to do. I will never be a supporter of any of Bachmann’s policies but I think she is doing the admirable thing. Let’s look at this logically. Should somebody be able to run for office over and over and just keep getting voted in based on name recognition? Of course, several people will vote against a person for the sole purpose of voting against them. But should it ever have to come to this point? Of course not. I vote for the candidate not because of the name or the party but because I think they will do a better job. And I’m not just saying that. Take for instance, Senator Youngblood. Edward Youngblood is the state senator for my district. I have known his grandson, Mat, since at least the seventh grade. I went to middle school and high school with Mat. When I saw that his grandfather was running, the thought came to my mind to vote for him. Then the Bangor Daily News ran its segment where it asked each candidate a series of questions regarding their policies and ideas. And to be honest, I liked Youngblood’s ideas better. I also learned about how he had worked previously in Augusta and had been away for years. So, when I made my vote, I voted with my head and not with any friendships that go back years.
So Bachmann is leaving. It’s a good thing for not playing the career politician game. And more importantly, it gives someone else a chance to help the country.