David Duke on a Presidential Bid: 'Yes, I Am Considering It'

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Should he run, it would be his third presidential bid

David Duke - Hart Matthews Reuters - banner.jpg

White supremacist and former Louisiana state representative David Duke confirms he's mulling tossing his hat into the 2012 presidential contest.

"Yes, I am considering it," the former high-ranking Klansman, who has been doing a YouTube video series with a Danish attorney of late, said in an email.

Earlier today, The Daily Beast's Eve Conant reported that "former grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, member of the Louisiana House of Representatives and Republican executive-committee chairman in his district until 2000" would this month be "launching a tour of 25 states to explore how much support he can garner for a potential presidential bid."

Duke's public flirtation with a presidential bid comes against a background of growing interest in elective office from white supremacists, the Beast reports, and also an unusual amount of carnival-like publicity-seeking this election cycle by those purporting to be considering Republican presidential primary bids.

Duke, who has been living in Europe of late, would seem to be ill-positioned to be more than another sideshow in the contest, given his beliefs and the fact that he has only won office once before -- a state-level special election in 1989 that resulted in him serving two years as the representative of Metairie, Louisiana.

Should he run, presumably as a Republican, it would be Duke's third presidential bid, following runs as a Democrat and then Populist Party candidate in 1988, and as a Republican in 1992. He won 119,115 (0.94 percent) GOP presidential primary votes that year, to incumbent President George H.W. Bush's 9,199,463 (72.84 percent).

Image credit: Hart Matthews/Reuters

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Garance Franke-Ruta is a former senior editor covering national politics at The Atlantic.

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