Michele Bachmann's presidential campaign, $1 million in debt, didn't live within its means

Bachmann faces the challenge of paying down campaign debt while trying to raise funds for her House reelection run.
Bachmann faces the challenge of paying down campaign debt while trying to raise funds for her House reelection run.

Remember Michele Bachmann's vehement opposition to raising the county's debt ceiling? Remember in her book, where she gushes about the way she and Marcus were able to quickly pay down their college loans?

Today, it was revealed that Bachmann, an outspoken advocate of fiscal responsibility, didn't walk the walk when it came to her ill-fated presidential campaign. Newly filed Federal Election Commission documents show she was more than $1 million debt in the weeks following her decision to drop out of the race in early January.

That's more than twice as much as the $450,000 her campaign was reported to be in the hole early last month.

According to the documents, as of January 25, Bachmann still owed money to numerous campaign advisers, photographers, direct mailers, transportation companies, and caterers.

MPR reports Bachmann "has been aggressively attempting to raise money in recent weeks, sending supporters urgent emails seeking contributions."

Fundraising has always been one of her strong suits -- her last reelection campaign in 2010 took in a record $13.5 million. She's been especially effective in soliciting donations from national sources. During the last election cycle, almost 70 percent of Bachmann's $200 or larger contributions came from out-of-state donors.

But she might have more difficultly raising funds this time around. As MinnPost's Devin Henry wrote early last month:

Now that she's balancing a House re-election campaign and the remnants of her presidential bid, she must convince those small donors that she's not only deserving of their normal campaign contributions, but actually worthy of more financial support than they would have given in the past. That's not an easy argument to make, given the embarrassing ending to her presidential campaign.

In the grand scheme of things, racking up $1 million in debt during a presidential campaign isn't a huge deal. Consider, for instance, the fact that Hillary Clinton ended up $25 million in the hole following her 2008 run. But trying to pay down $1 million in debt, while raising funds for a House reelection campaign, while trying to portray yourself as a firm advocate of balanced budgets and government belt-tightening? Managing all those challenges between now and November is probably going to require a lot of answered prayers.

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