Bye-Bye to Michele Bachmann's Twitter-Era Politics

Chicago Tribune columnist Clarence Page says goodbye and good riddance to the conservative Minnesota politician and her tactics. 

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Michele Bachmann (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Chicago Tribune columnist Clarence Page says goodbye and good riddance to the conservative Minnesota politician and her tactics. 

Rep. Michele Bachmann got it backwards in her surprising retirement announcement. Many of her "mainstream liberal media" critics will miss her, especially the fact-checkers.

"I fully anticipate," the Minnesota Republican declared in an eight-minute, 40-second, video, "the mainstream liberal media to put a detrimental spin on my decision."

Detrimental? To whom? If anyone's political stardom has thrived on negative coverage, it is hers.

She roared into national attention during an October 2008 interview with MSNBC's Chris Matthews. That's when she called for news media to "do a penetrating expose" of then-Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama and "the views of people in Congress and find out are they pro-America or anti-America."

Her sound bites quickly turned into the sort of Internet "viral moment," as political consultants say, that turns into instant cash for campaign coffers -- and for Bachmann, more media appearances.

With a flair for passionate catchphrases (she called herself a "constitutional conservative") and a casual disregard for factual precision, she rode the rise of the polarized tea party era like a rodeo star. She helped to found the tea party caucus, and in August 2011 she became the first female presidential hopeful to win the Grand Old Party's Ames Straw Poll in Iowa.

Read Clarence Page's entire piece at the Chicago Tribune.

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