Her remark on Facebook was short, sweet, and to the point:
It is with confidence in Jeb Hensarling’s leadership that I bring my candidacy for Republican Conference Chair to a close and proudly support him.
So Michele Bachmann won’t create the tempest in the teapot some feared in her bid for a leadership post, but those who followed her rise in prominence with the advent of the TEA Party may be disappointed. However, Jeb Hensarling of Texas (who will become Conference Chair) had a 100 ACU rating in 2009 and was formerly Chair of the Republican Study Committee, which is the primary outlet for conservative Republicans in Congress. So it’s not like the position is going to a squishy moderate.
[By the way, when I spoke to Andy Harris about the subject two years ago he indicated he would be part of the Republican Study Committee if elected so I presume he’ll become a member of that august body come January. Conversely, Wayne Gilchrest (and Bob Ehrlich when he was in office) were both members of the Republican Main Street Partnership – their membership roll reflects the moderate wing of the party.]
Most of the remaining drama for the House now shifts to the Energy and Commerce Committee, where Fred Upton of Michigan is in line to become Chairman. Unfortunately, this member of the RMSP draws a lot of concern about his record on energy-related issues (see pages 10-13 here, although the rest is troubling too) so his effort has drawn opposition. In this case Joe Barton of Texas, the ranking member, is term-limited (by agreement) but would be a better choice. He introduced legislation to kill the very regulations Upton championed.
Meanwhile, Bachmann still has a pretty good consolation prize: she still heads the 52-member strong House TEA Party Caucus. Its membership roster is sure to grow given the election results; hopefully Andy Harris will join that group too.