Saturday, December 22, 2007

Why Tancredo likes Mitt

From The American Spectator:

Rep. Tom Tancredo yesterday afternoon endorsed former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney after one of Tancredo's senior advisers, Bay Buchanan, pressed him to make the endorsement.

Buchanan is a convert to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. As well, rumors were swirling in the media pool covering the press conference that Romney had made a personal commitment to assist Tancredo should he choose to run for office again in the near future.

Romney has flip-flopped on the immigration issue, the one issue that Tancredo drove during his long-shot presidential bid, and a number of advisers to Tancredo on the immigration issue had been pressing him over the past three days to endorse former Sen. Fred Thompson, whose illegal immigration policies are more in line with Tancredo's.

In fact several months ago, according to an influential anti-immigration-reform adviser to Tancredo, as well as other conservatives, Tancredo was prepared to endorse Thompson if he came out in support of Tancredo's specific anti-illegal-immigration policy proposals. But Thompson was not yet in the presidential race, and Tancredo instead decided to push forward with his own campaign.

"We're all scratching our heads a little on this one," says the immigration adviser. "It isn't the one we would have had him made, but Bay is extremely influential with him and clearly her advice carried more sway than our opinion did."

A member of Tancredo's campaign says that while Buchanan's opinion might have had greater influence than others, Tancredo's main criterion was electability. "Romney has made the better showing thus far, and Tom wants to have a influence in the Republican Party beyond Iowa," says the adviser. "Romney was just the smarter pick."

I have run across some people who are very bitter about Tancredo's endorsement of Mitt. They feel that he should have backed Thompson as the only true conservative in the race. They have taken this to mean that Tom is a complete hypocrite who never really believed his anti-illegal immigration rhetoric.

I disagree.

Tancredo has made a pragmatic decision to back the most conservative candidate he believes can win. He has obviously noticed the same things about Fred's unwillingness to sacrifice his self-perceived dignity by climbing down into the sewer with the other candidates and engaging in the no-holds-barred knife fight which the voters require of a candidate to prove that "he really wants it" that I have. Tancredo obviously feels that Romney has the best chance of winning as is on board to help him.

There is also the possibility that Tancredo has been offered the VP spot in a Romney administration. This would be a good thing because it would ensure that the border control position would be well represented in the Romney cabinet. This would gain Romney much needed votes from the border security wing of the GOP.