Rep. Thaddeus McCotter, R-Mich., will launch his presidential campaign on July 2, making him the third sitting member of the House to run for the White House in 2012.
McCotter will make his bid official in his home state of Michigan, according to a knowledgeable source in the campaign who declined to be identified.
The five-term congressman has made stops in several of the early primary states and participated in the Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans earlier this month. He joined the Iowa Tea Party bus tour this week during a stop in Ottumwa, Iowa.
A couple of weeks ago, Dana Houle read some tea leaves swirling at the bottom of the new Republican-drafted redistricting plan. The home of state Rep. Marty Knollenberg, a member of the redistricting committee and son of ex-Rep. Joe Knollenberg, was placed into McCotter's district, which at first glance was an odd choice — Knollenberg made it clear that he wanted to run against Dem Rep. Gary Peters to avenge his father's 2008 loss. But since Marty himself got to draw the maps, why would he put his own home in the district of an incumbent fellow Republican... unless he had an inkling that the incumbent (i.e., McCotter) wouldn't be sticking around much longer, giving him a chance to run for the House anyway (even if he can't face Peters).
In any event, this is obviously an absurd candidacy, but it does potentially create a winnable open seat for Democrats, assuming ol' Thad doesn't try to seek re-election as a backstop. Michigan's filing deadline is not until May of next year, so McCotter has a lot of time to consider plan B — unless, of course, Knollenberg (or perhaps another big name) gets in the race while he's off in Iowa and New Hampshire. Anyhow, I just want to leave you with these parting thoughts from none other than Stu Rothenberg, writing in Roll Call back in 2002 (also quoted by Dana):
I've interviewed hundreds of candidates for office, and most of the lost causes and serious contenders stand out immediately. But sometimes it's not so easy to separate the winners from the losers.
As evidence, I present Republican Thaddeus McCotter....
A former Wayne County commissioner who was elected to the Michigan state Senate in 1998, McCotter, 36, will win the August Republican primary in Michigan's newly created 11th district. That will make him a prohibitive favorite for November, since President Bush carried the district two years ago and the Democrats haven't recruited a credible nominee.
But if I've interviewed a candidate who was less communicative, more arrogant and more difficult to like, I can't think of one. And I've tried.
I thought my assessment of McCotter might be unique until I asked others. I found I had plenty of company, both in Michigan and Washington, among both reporters and Republican politicos.
It's been over nine years since this piece was written, but I wouldn't be surprised if McCotter still holds the title. And I'm not sure there's much else you need to know about the guy.