On Tom Tancredo

More

He can argue, legitimately, that the one issue he set out to bring to the forefront of the debate has, through sheer force of the Republican base, traveled there.

Before Tancredo, the GOP presidential candidates didn't take the anti-immigration sentiment they heard on talk radio all that seriously.

After Tancredo, it sometimes seems as if it's the only they issue they do take seriously. They scramble to out-Tancredo each other; any hint of sympathy for the undocumented worker is now verboten. "Misplaced sympathy," is what Fred Thompson called it yesterday.

Tancredo -- and Tancredoites in Congress and millions of Americans -- have forced at least four candidates -- Huckabee and McCain are two -- to completely change the way they talk and think about immigration. Even Democrats call for border security first.

Tancredo gave voice to a burbling reservoir of anxiety and can fairly be said to have the most effect, policy-wise, of any presidential candidate. Politically, too, some Republicans believe that Tancredo-style immigration politics may have irreparably damaged the GOP's efforts to incorporate Hispanics into their coalition.

Tom Tancredo is an outsize figure in our politics.

Will he endorse? Unclear. If he does, the betting is on Thompson or Romney, although advisers to both men expect the other to get it, if it's gettable. Note that Bay Buchanan is a member of the LDS church and is said to be pushing Tancredo to endorse Romney as a way of repudiating Huckabee, somehow. We'll see.

Jump to comments
Presented by

Marc Ambinder is an Atlantic contributing editor. He is also a senior contributor at Defense One, a contributing editor at GQ, and a regular contributor at The Week.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Tracing Sriracha's Origin to a Seaside Town in Thailand

Ever wonder how the wildly popular hot sauce got its name? It all started in Si Racha.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Where the Wild Things Go

A government facility outside of Denver houses more than a million products of the illegal wildlife trade, from tigers and bears to bald eagles.

Video

Adults Need Playtime Too

When was the last time you played your favorite childhood game?

Video

Is Wine Healthy?

James Hamblin prepares to impress his date with knowledge about the health benefits of wine.

Video

The World's Largest Balloon Festival

Nine days, more than 700 balloons, and a whole lot of hot air

Writers

Up
Down

More in Politics

Just In