Michele Bachmann is suspending her campaign while Rick Perry is said to be reassessing his, but he’s gone on to campaign in South Carolina. This is part of the inevitable process of winnowing the field, and the hand-writing has been on this particular wall for weeks. Bachmann was clobbered by Perry’s entry, and a few gaffes, and she never regained traction. Some of her critics say she tried to hard to be somebody she isn’t, but it’s certain that Bachmann will remain a popular figure in the conservative and Tea Party movements. There’s no shame in it, and she should hold her head high as she returns to her Congressional duties full time.
Maybe she will now have some of the impetus required to wrangle with leadership over some more fiscally conservative legislation, that is so desperately needed in this current Congress. Here’s wishing all the best to Representative Bachmann!
Rick Perry’s story is somewhat different. Though he finished fifth, it’s safe to say that he’s got a bigger war-chest at the moment than Newt Gingrich, and he’s apt to put up one heck of a fight in South Carolina, where Gingrich is thought to have something of an advantage, being from neighboring Georgia. Time will tell if Perry’s all finished, but the fact is that his debate performances have really set him back. It’s hard to recover from the sort of public shellacking he’s taken over that sore topic, but one thing remains true about the Texas governor: He’s tenacious and he doesn’t go away quietly. I expect him to remain something of a factor if he decides to stick it out, and with Bachmann gone, he will likely benefit from some of those who’ve now been left without a horse to ride in this primary race.
If Perry doesn’t turn things around substantially in South Carolina, money or not, I can’t see him staying much longer, so we may get an answer regarding his real electoral future soon.