The Moose speculates on who may be the next Perot.
As the Moose mentioned on Monday, there is a division in our politics between the declinists who believe that the country is going to hell in a handbasket with jobs going overseas and illegal immigration and the optimists who welcome immigrants and believe that we can prosper in a global economy. And the other big dynamic is that the country is increasingly getting disgusted with Washington and believes that we're headed in the wrong direction.
This is a combustible political situation that could provide an opening for an outsider. It has the feel of 1992 when old Ross Perot emerged to shake up the Presidential race. (The Moose recommends this fine book by Rapoport and Stone on the Perotistas) .The Perotistas more or less continue to exist as Republican leaning independents. However, this constituency is likely very dissatisfied with the current situation.
Could a Perotista-type candidate emerge to represent the anti-immigrant, protectionists Perotistas? Enter Lou Dobbs. Today's New York Times has an interesting profile of the would-be 2008 Perotista.
"The nation's most prominent opponent of current immigration policy began his day yesterday on the "Today" show on NBC, debating a Hispanic defender of illegal immigrants. He moved on to "American Morning" on CNN to denounce a bill passed by the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday as "an amnesty program."
"This central figure in the increasingly fractious debate over future immigration policy was not a senator or congressman, nor even a lobbyist on either side of the issue. It was instead, a television news anchor, Lou Dobbs of CNN."
Dobbs was also a leading voice against the Dubai port deal and he is a prominent critic of the nation's trade policy. He is the nation's most articulate and visible spokesman for the Perotista cause.
Of course, Dobbs has not indicated that he has any political aspirations. But, this may very well be the time for a non-political figure to do surprisingly well. While the Moose holds no brief for this protectionist, exclusionist politics, neither party is representing this constituency.
Lou Dobbs '08? --