01 July 2011

McCotter Jams Into Presidential Primary Race

Five term Congressman Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI 11th) will immanently announce his candidacy for the Republican nomination for President in 2012.  McCotter is known in Republican circles for being a conservative who is culturally attuned and new media savvy.  While serving on the Hill McCotter formed a rock and country band “The Second Amendments” which played for the troops and at a White House picnic. To that end, President George W. Bush called McCotter “that rock and roll dude”.

McCotter has a way of mixing wonkiness with rocking.  His Rock Solid interviews show McCotter answering policy questions while riffing on his Star Spangled Telecaster guitar.  When making House floor speeches, McCotter has been known to quote Led Zepplin.  To protest the Democrat drive to reimpose the Fairness Doctrine on talk radio, McCotter produced an innovative youtube video that was an homage to Bob Dylan’s Subterranean Homesick Blues.

McCotter is the third sitting Congressman to run for President this cycle. McCotter is jamming into an already crowded race.  The Republican field may further further expand soon if the persistent rumors about a forthcoming campaign from Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) prove true and the strong signals from former Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK).

Even though McCotter has a lifetime ACU rating of 86%, he does cause some rankles in the conservative base.  McCotter’s district is filled with autoworkers, hence he has a union friendly voting record for things like the automotive bailout of G.M. and Chrysler.   Granted, that it is a inside the beltway baseball thing, but when McCotter was the head of the conservative leaning Republican Policy Committee, McCotter sought to abolish it to save money and was replaced by Rep. Tom Price (R-GA 6th). While McCotter is mostly a well spoken conservative, his tough talk on trade puts him at odds with most free market conservatives.  Moreover, McCotter will have to explain his HAPPY proposal (H.R. 5310 Humanity And Pets Partnered through the Years legislation to give a $3,500 tax credit for pet care).

So why is McCotter jamming into the Presidential fray?  His people can say that he is in it to win it, but surely they know that it’s a long shot at best. The virtual Gingrich campaign implosion offered an opportunity to pick up some movers and shakers in Iowa.  The Ames Straw poll is in August and McCotter’s agents spent $18,000 to get the position where former Gov. Huckabee (R-AR) was located. Still McCotter polls 2% in Iowa, despite jamming with Huckabee on FNC.  But as the Paulistians (sic) often prove, straw polls can be won by dumping cash and mobilizing partisans to something that garners publicity but no delegates.

Now that Michigan Congressional redistricting has been finalized, McCotter’s district will be more secure and less union oriented.  While it is nowhere near national levels, in the last election, McCotter raised five times what his opponent did.   Even though political junkies and viewers of FNC’s Red Eye know the quirky but endearing Rep. McCotter, he might not have the statewide exposure. McCotter, like most other top tier GOP candidates,  passed on running against two term Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) this cycle.  Perhaps McCotter is looking to the future and sees that six term Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) will be 80 in 2014 and may not like being a back bencher again.

But as Rep. Michele Bachmann’s (R-MN 6th) meteoric rise in the Presidential polls has shown, a candidate who is intelligent, engaging and appealing can catch lighting in a bottle during the New Hampshire Debate and can reach for the top.  To somewhat of a lesser extent, the same was true for Herman Cain after the first debate in South Carolina. Perhaps McCotter is counting on scoring big points during a debate along with his pop persona to make him a political rock star.  And if McCotter does not become American Political Idol, then he is well positioned for House re-election, GOP cabinet consideration and possibly a Senate run in the near future.

McCotter may be a huge Beatle fan, but he would be advised to bone up on Bon Jovi’s “Living on a Prayer”.

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