For months now, political observers have anxiously anticipated the arrival of one of a handful of the Republican heavyweights currently sitting out the race for president. Paul Ryan. Chris Christie. Jeb Bush. Rick Perry. But today, the latest entrant into the GOP primary race is … Thaddeus McCotter.
Thaddeus McCotter. You’re thinking, Am I supposed to recognize that name from somewhere? No, you’re not. Unless you’re from Michigan, where he’s been a congressman since 2003, you’ve probably never heard of him. He doesn’t stand out for his positions or policies as TPM writes, “He’s pro most of the things Republican primary voters want their nominee to be for, and he’s against most of the things they want their nominee to oppose.” But he plays the guitar!
As far as we know, he hasn’t been included in a single poll so far, but we suspect if he’s included in the next one, he’ll get zero percent, because, again, nobody knows who he is. Latecomers to the presidential race typically don’t perform well — their competitors have already spent months or even years fund-raising, hiring staff, making connections in early states, making impressions on voters, etc. — but it’s especially tough when they’re completely unknown and nobody cares that they’re running. Who is going to donate their money to McCotter, knowing how minute his chances are of making an impact on the race? And how is he going to pick up steam without money?
Despite these obstacles, McCotter has been talking about running for president for months, and now, he’s doing it. Why he’s doing it is the question. Hot Air’s Allahpundit proposes the “raise the profile” theory: “Maybe McCotter’s thinking that [Senator] Carl Levin, who’ll be 80 in 2014, will decide not to run for reelection, and that a presidential run now will help introduce him to Michigan voters statewide ahead of that?” Seconded.
Thad McCotter to join W.H. race Friday [Politico]