Ride A Dark Horse


Silencing literally hundreds of no clamoring voices demanding to know whether he'd be making a White House bid, California Republican Duncan Hunter is going to make the announcement today.

Hunter's ambitions come as a surprise to other Republicans, none of whom had an inkling that he might look to jump into what is likely to be a crowded field for the GOP presidential nomination. But even more shocking is that he would do this a week before the midterm election that may shift control of the House to the Democrats and cost Hunter his chairmanship of the House Armed Services Committee. Hunter is running for re-election Nov. 7.

"To say it's curious timing is quite an understatement. It is bizarre," said Stuart Rothenberg, the editor of an independent political newsletter in Washington. "It does suggest he figures he's going to have some time on his hands, that he won't have to worry about running hearings and fashioning legislation. He must figure one of his Democratic colleagues will be taking care of that."

Let's assume Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney, John McCain, and 40 other Republicans eat some bad clams and keel over. What could we expect from a Duncan Hunter presidency? Probably more stuff like "The Parents' Empowerment Act," the Janet Jackson-tastic law meant "to provide a civil action for a minor injured by exposure to an entertainment product containing material that is harmful to minors, and for other purposes." And maybe we'd finally finish that damn border fence; Hunter introduced the legislation for that last year.

Hypothetical: If 2008 is an all-fourth string battle between Hunter and Mike Gravel, who wins?