After finishing in last place among the major candidates at last night's Iowa caucuses, Michele Bachmann said at a press conference this morning that she will end her candidacy for the Republican nomination. "Last night, the people of Iowa spoke with a very clear voice, and so I have decided to stand aside," Bachmann said. Her 5 percent finish in her native state made August, when she could briefly be considered a front-runner after winning the Iowa straw poll, seem like ages ago. Last night, Bachmann still seemed like a believer, telling a small group of supporters, "I believe that I am that true conservative who can and who will defeat Barack Obama in 2012." But sometimes things are more clear in the morning.
"Over the next few days, just be prepared," Bachmann warned last night. "The pundits and the press will again try to pick the nominee based on tonight's results but there are many more chapters to be written on the path to our party's nomination." One of those pundits was Bachmann's favorite frenemy Sarah Palin, who all but declared her old pal's candidacy dead on Fox News. "Unless she wants to spend her own money," Palin said, "I personally can't see how it's going to do a whole lot of good."
Today, Bachmann admitted she has no way forward in the race, but promised to "continue to fight to defeat the president's agenda of socialism." She added, "I have no regrets. None whatsoever."
This post has been updated throughout.