For a time it looked as though Michele Bachmann would be Mitt Romney’s main opponent for the GOP presidential nomination. She launched her campaign in June to significant fanfare, gracing the covers of national magazines and rising to the top of polls in Iowa. She was expected to be a fundraising juggernaut based on her high-dollar US House campaigns. In August she finished first at the Iowa Straw Poll, pushing fellow Minnesotan Tim Pawlenty out of the race in the process.
It turned out to be a short-lived streak.
Rick Perry stole her thunder when he announced his campaign on the very same day Bachmann won the straw poll, replacing her as the front-runner. Her presence began to recede in the debates, only getting noticed when she made far-out statements scaring parents from vaccinating children. At Florida P5 in September—the next major straw poll after Iowa—Bachmann finished dead last, getting only 1.5% of the 2,600 votes.
Now her campaign is officially in tatters. Late last week, her entire New Hampshire staff resigned. Bachmann was not really competing in the northeastern state—she focused her efforts on Iowa and South Carolina since Romney pretty much has New Hampshire wrapped up—but it’s never a good sign when employees leave a campaign en masse. Making matters worse, the staff has released a damning letter to explain their decision:
The manner in which some in the national team conducted themselves towards Team-NH was rude, unprofessional, dishonest, and at times cruel. But more concerning was how abrasive, discourteous, and dismissive some within the national team were towards many New Hampshire citizens. These are our neighbors and our friends, and some within the national team treated them more as a nuisance than as potential supporters.
Bachmann had already lost her original campaign manager Ed Rollins, who has spoken out against his former boss since leaving his post. That scene may play out again: Rick Perry has already hired one of Bachmann’s departing New Hampshire staff members.