Larry, I think the point you raise is the reason Tancredo seems ready to jump in. He wants to ensure that immigration hawks, who make up a sizeable percentage of the GOP base, are represented in the 2008 Republican presidential field. As a bit of a hawk myself, I can’t fault him for that.
Yet I think it is clear that the movement Tancredo leads has accomplished more by steadily building its congressional ranks, mainly with people who are staunch conservatives on a broad range of issues rather than just monmanically committed to immigration, and organizing effectively at the grassroots level. (Though certainly Tancredo’s immigration single-mindedness has made it possible for other Immigration Reform Caucus members to focus on other issues.) Longshot single-issue candidacies seem to have served them less well, except when the occasional Jim Gilchrist loses but does much better than expected.
In politics, making a statement can be important. But winning always is.
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