By Esme Murphy

In the end they both bowed out.

Michele Bachmann announced her decision to drop out of the race for Minnesota’s 6th District via YouTube, while Jim Graves sent out an email statement.

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Both were unavailable for comment afterward.

For sheer flair, the edge goes to Rep. Bachmann, who at 2:30 a.m. released a slickly produced video complete with background music and soft lighting announcing her decision. She then boarded a military jet to Russia to take part in a Congressional inquiry into the Boston bombings, making her unavailable to reporters.

Graves announcement was far more pedestrian. No video, just an email to reporters and supporters. It’s not clear where he was immediately afterward, as reporters were told he was simply not available.

If there was one drop out decision that was more of a surprise, it had to be Graves. Bachmann has always been about producing and creating her own moments. Consider her alternatives State of the Union speech and the announcement of her Presidential bid.

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Graves, for all his wealth and business success, seemed downright down to earth by comparison.

Always, until now, he has been accessible to the media, always pushing a story of his commitment to the people of the 6th Congressional District.

The people of the 6th District deserve candidates who care about them. Much has been made of the 6th being the most conservative district in the state, but voters there clearly vote the candidate, not the party.

Voters in the 6th voted for Mitt Romney by more than 15 percentage points. Yet Sen. Amy Klobuchar carried every county in the district en route to her reelection.

And voters very nearly sent Jim Graves to Congress over Bachmann in the last election. She won by fewer than 4,300 votes.

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So let candidates, good ones, who care more about the district than their own futures, get in the race. And let the voters decide.

Esme Murphy