The illegal immigrants aren't going anywhere, but Rep. Tom Tancredo is. In January 2009 he'll either be in the White House or back in Colorado.
Tancredo, 61, waited until after the Colorado Rockies' last out of the World Series on Sunday night before announcing that he plans to retire from Congress at the end of this, his fifth term.
"It's the fact that I really believe I have done all I can do in the House, especially about the issue (immigration) about which I care greatly," he said.
Tancredo said other people are now taking up leadership on the immigration issue.
Credit where it's due: Tancredo has probably had more influence on a national issue than any back-bench congressman since Jack Kemp started spreading the gospel of supply-side tax cuts. The difference is that Kemp's issue heralded the rise of the modern GOP; Tancredo's activism has so far shrunken the party's appeal by repelling the fastest-growing ethnic minority in America. But Tancredo never cared about the long-term or short-term electoral fortunes of his party. As he saw it, he was defending his country and his civilization. Credit for that, too, I guess.
A side note:
[O]ver the summer, he began hinting that he had his eyes on a 2010 contest against Sen. Ken Salazar, a Democrat he sees as his polar opposite on the immigration issue.
I'm sure Tancredo knows this and it's an ad hominem point, but Salazar's family has been in Colorado since before it was part of the United States.