The Washington Times - June 15, 2011, 05:41PM

The chairman of the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor party is calling on Rep. Michele Bachmann to drop any plans to run for her House seat in 2012 if she is serious about pursuing the presidency. But he also freely admits that the Republican’s White House should help her re-election chances and give a boost to her political career.

“If she really, truly, is a candidate for president, than she should not only suspend her campaign, but she should end her campaign for the 6th Congressional District,” Mr. Martin told The Washington Times. “I think in some cases it will help her more than hurt her to be honest with you.” 

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“Obviously we will continue to remind voters in the 6th district that her priority was pursuing her own national ambition and not serving the people of the 6th district. But by and large, it probably helps her to expand her profile, both from a fundraising standpoint, and also from a messaging standpoint if she can do reasonably well in this process, and come back here, even if she loses, with her head held high.”

Mrs. Bachmann walked away as one of the consensus “winners” from Monday’s Republican presidential debate in New Hampshire, where she broke the news that she’d filed her “paperwork to seek the office of the presidency of the United States” and would soon be making a formal announcement.

For now, the mother of five children has suspended her congressional campaign and is no longer actively seeking re-election. But that could change, as she has until June 5, 2012, to file for the primary election, according to the secretary of state’s website.

A potential downside to Mrs. Bachmann’s pursuit of the presidency is that it could make her look “overly” ambitious, that “her sights are elsewhere,” Mr. Martin said.

Even if she does not win the GOP nomination, a higher profile could set her up for other future races — including, possibly, a 2014 run against Democratic Sen. Al Franken.