As I pointed out in my post on the Republican debate yesterday, I think Tom Tancredo did himself more harm than good by bitterly recounting his sob story about being spurned by President Bush and Karl Rove. W. James Antle III of The American Spectator points out that Tom Tancredo also failed to score any points on immigration, the single issue upon which he has chosen to build his campaign.
More people will remember his story about Karl Rove -- complete with a vow to keep George W. Bush from darkening the White House's door -- than will recall anything he said about the Senate immigration bill.
His rivals didn't make the same mistake. Rudy Giuliani, a past supporter of amnesty who presided over a sanctuary city in New York, skillfully slammed the immigration bill's lack of unifying purpose. Mitt Romney, another former McCain-Kennedy backer whose current position on what to do with the existing illegal immigrant population is basically incoherent, also scored points when he said the federal government should enforce the laws already on the books. Indeed, Romney has rather improbably established himself as the field's leading critic of the Senate bill, much to McCain's obvious consternation.
It's Tancredo who has the longest record on the issue, however. His Congressional Immigration Reform Caucus has grown to include a majority of the House Republican Conference. The contingent played a key role in killing last year's Senate immigration bill -- and may help defeat the present one as well. He champions the attrition through enforcement strategy that is the leading alternative to a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants.
So why are the Johnny-Come-Lately candidates stealing his thunder? They are smoother. They are quicker with effective sound bites. And they are more serious about running a winning presidential campaign.
Just as I said that Hillary Clinton won the last Democratic presidential debate because she acted presidential, Tom Tancredo was the loser of the Republican debate because he acted like a whiny child.
My thanks to Beth of MY Vast Right Wing Conspiracy for pointing out The American Spectator article.
[Cross posted at A Lovely Infidel.]Posted by JanetteS at June 7, 2007 01:05 PM