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But her penchant for provocative rhetoric sometimes backfired. She was hammered in 2008 for saying Obama might have "anti-American views," a statement that prompted a rare retreat by Bachmann and made her race that year closer than it would have been. She was also criticized by her fellow Republicans last July for making unsubstantiated allegations that an aide to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton had family ties to Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood.
Her White House bid got off to a promising start, with a win in an Iowa GOP test vote. But Bachmann quickly faded and finished last when the real voting started in Iowa’s leadoff caucuses, a result that caused her to drop out. Saddled with debt, she opted to campaign again for her Minnesota seat and squeaked through.
But the failed presidential campaign continued to dog her. Allegations of improper payments prompted ethics inquiries. Bachmann also faced a lawsuit from a former aide that alleged someone on the congresswoman’s team stole a private email list of home-school supporters for use in the campaign. That case is pending.
On Wednesday, Bachmann promised supporters she would "continue to work overtime for the next 18 months in Congress defending the same Constitutional Conservative values we have worked so hard on together."
As for her plans beyond Congress, she said, "There is no future option or opportunity, be it directly in the political arena or otherwise, that I won’t be giving serious consideration if it can help save and protect our great nation."
Bachmann’s success in the talk media world led industry analysts to say she could easily move into a gig as a host. She has been mentioned as a potential challenger to first-term Democratic Sen. Al Franken but has given little indication that she would take that step.
Thomas reported from Washington. Associated Press writer Lou Kesten contributed.
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