Two clips, one below from Politico and the other at the Corner courtesy of the Fred Thompson Show. I don’t know what he thinks he’s going to accomplish by running. If this is, by design, a five-percent candidacy aimed at pushing his signature issue — immigration — into the national debate in 2012, it’s destined to fail. Barring an amazing economic turnaround and some shocking conciliatory gestures from Iran and the Taliban, amnesty will be an afterthought in the next presidential election. If this is something more ambitious, i.e. a Perot-esque bid to win, he’s kidding himself. For all the bluster about third parties, by 2012 Republicans will be so frantic to beat Obama and so paranoid about a repeat of 1992 that all but the most alienated centrists and conservatives will hold their noses and line up for the GOP nominee. Nader won 2.7 percent of the vote in 2000, the year he helped hand the election to Bush; four years later, with the left unified against an incumbent president and horrified at the thought of another self-defeating split in the Democratic vote, he won just 0.38 percent. There’s nothing like an excruciating electoral debacle to sharpen the mind about the dangers of an independent candidacy, and the GOP already has one on the books to provide the sharpening.
If the goal isn’t to win or even to push the anti-amnesty position, then I assume the point of running would be, quite overtly, to swing the election, drawing enough votes from one party (almost certainly the GOP) to elect the other and thereby “prove” that the needs of centrist-y blue-collar independents must be addressed more forthrightly in the future. Why he thinks he’ll do any better at building a lasting independent coalition than Perot did is beyond me, but like he says, he’s getting expert advice. Exit question: Will Beck endorse him?