Thursday, December 20, 2007

Tancredo belly flops into the campaign death pool

The formation of the Fester Campaign Death Pool in June has led to a lot of empty water as there has not been a pre-primary cascade of failing campaigns. Sam Brownback pulled out after he lost the Ames Iowa straw poll, but everyone else has stayed in even those candidates who have not been able to see the asterisk in the polls as that is too far above them.

But finally we have another vactioneer at Chez Fester with a Margarita in one hand and a mango in the other bobbing along on a cheap rubber float in the shallow end of the campaign death pool. Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-CO) has announced the end of his bid for the nomination.

As a single issue candidate with a narrow but loud constituency, he has been a fairly successful candidate in that he has forced his party's front runners to talk about his issue on his terms --- virulently anti-immigration and exclusionary. That is a strong showing for a minor, single issue candidate who has been begging for his stand to be co-opted, and at the same time, it also allowed him to raise his profile and build a national network that could fuel a rumored Senate run. Not a bad piece of political work on purely mechanical grounds.

No Democratic candidate has officially withdrawn, even Mike Gravel's campaign tried to fund raise via a moneybomb during the first week of December.
I expect to see Senators Biden and Dodd to call it quits quickly after New Hampshire, and Kucinich to continue for as long as he can and then a couple of months after that as he did in 2004. But so far no official Democratic drop-outs.

So I wonder, who will be next into the death pool from the Republican side? Everyone remaining has some combination of momentum, money, organization or support. I think Tancredo will be the last pre-Iowa drop-out from either party as staying in for another two and a half weeks at this point is fairly inexpensive and non-wounding to anyone's pride.

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