Guy Benson
Whether she saw the writing on the whip-count wall, was nudged by the leadership, or received some persuasive assurances, Michelle Bachmann has pulled out of the race for the number four House GOP leadership slot.  Last night, I received Bachmann's statement endorsing Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) for the post she once sought:

“Jeb Hensarling has my enthusiastic support for his candidacy to become Republican House Conference Chair. Jeb has demonstrated his commitment to limited government, reduced spending and lower taxes and he will be a strong voice for the Tea Party’s call for these values.

“I look forward to continuing my consistent support of the Tea Party. I plan to advance the Tea Party ideals through their listening arm, the Tea Party Caucus. It is my wish to bring new faces to the caucus, including freshmen members.

“The new Congress will have great opportunities to lead our country into the direction our founders intended. I spoke with Mr. Boehner and other members of leadership and I am convinced they will wholeheartedly work towards the issues the American people are calling for such as fiscal responsibility, ending the bailouts and repealing Obamacare.”

This fight was not a clear Right vs. RINO struggle, as conservative stalwarts like Rep. Paul Ryan and the National Review editorial board lined up behind Hensarling.  Still, Bachmann has proven herself to be a fundraising dynamo, an invigorating orator, and is adored by the base.  Many conservatives will continue to believe that having another attractive, sharp, principled woman like Bachmann at the leadership table would have been a net plus for the House GOP.  And they may still get their wish.

Guy Benson

Guy Benson is Townhall.com's Senior Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson.

Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography