The Campaign Spot

Why Do Iowa Republicans Prefer The Noisier, Angrier, and more Controversial Border Security Candidate?

A somewhat ominous note from the Ames straw poll… 
Nobody could call Duncan Hunter a squish on illegal immigration. He mentions the fence and wall built near San Diego in just about every speech and debate appearance, and the border fence petition is front and center on his web site. He’s a regular on Lou Dobbs. He’s railed against the NAFTA Trucking Safety Act. He’s pledged to pardon U.S. Border Patrol agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean. What’s more, with twenty-six years in Congress, Duncan Hunter is a serious, hard-minded, veteran lawmaker. He’s generated “future Secretary of Defense” buzz since getting into the race, and while his name recognition isn’t high, he’s a figure one can picture sitting behind the desk in the Oval Office.
Tom Tancredo has also made stopping illegal immigration his signature issue — but he’s a bit more likely to shoot his mouth off, and cause racially-tinged controversies in the process. He has introduced legislation to impose an indefinite moratorium on legal immigration to the United States. He’s called Miami a “Third World Country” and said “there isn’t much of a difference” between Miami and Havana. [Apparently his plan for winning the electoral college doesn’t include Florida, or he has some strategy beyond our simple minds that includes insulting and alienating the most consistently pro-Republican Latino voters, Cuban-Americans.] He has complained about the Denver Public Library purchasing books in Spanish. He’s also talked about using nuclear weapons on Mecca and Medina in response to a future nuclear terrorist attack.  

(I note that Tancredo’s Wikipedia page currently states, “He is a declared candidate for the 2008 Presidential Race and is expected to sweep the polls due to his anti-Brown People stance.” Ahem, Wikipedia editors, wake up.)


The results from the Ames straw poll

Tom Tancredo — 1961 (13.7%) (good for fourth place)

Duncan Hunter — 174 (1.2%) (enough for ninth place).

Two candidates, both tough on border security, but with two very different styles and approaches. I would call one serious, one reckless. And we see where seriousness gets you.

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