The Tancredo presidential campaign is planning a “major announcement” at 2 PM tomorrow in Des Moines. The flash media advisory is here.
“Major announcement” is code phrase used by the campaigns and understood by the press to mean “dropping out of the race.” (Some candidates have been known to abuse this unwritten understanding to win some attention for what turns out to be some boring policy speech. It only creates lingering press hatred for them.)
Until this just-released media advisory from Tancredo’s campaign, it was widely believed that Tancredo intended to stay in the race at least until the January 3 Iowa Caucuses.
But something bigger than Congressman Tom Tancredo’s departure from the presidential race may be in the works.
Moments ago, I spoke to a former official of Colorado’s Secretary of State office, which sets the rules for that state’s elections. Speaking under condition of anonymity because she is not authorized to talk to the press, she said that there is “no reason for Tancredo to drop out now.”
“Unlike other states, Colorado does not have a January filing deadline for candidates,” running for federal office. Tancredo is not legally required to declare his intentions regarding the seat he now holds in the U.S. House of Representatives. Nor is he required by law to file to run for Colorado’s open U.S. Senate seat in the next few months. Senator Wayne Allard, a Republican, announced plans to retire and friends of Tancredo believe he wants to run for that seat.
The Colorado GOP will want Tancredo to make up his mind (about running for one house of Congress or the other) sometime before that state’s Feb. 5 party caucuses.
Some suspect that Tancredo will not only drop out of the race, but endorse Fred Thompson.
The Politico points out: “Perhaps most notably, Tancredo’s close friend, Rep. Steve King, passed over his colleague and threw his support behind Fred Thompson this week. King and Tancredo have worked closely on immigration and many in Iowa thought King would not endorse as long as Tancredo was in the race.”
Will Tancredo endorse Thompson and shake up the race in Iowa? Tancredo loathes Mike Huckabee, the putative front-runner in Iowa, and has fought bitterly against Senator John McCain on immigration and other issues. As for Rudy Guiliani, Tancredo and the former New York mayor are far apart on immigration and social issues.
By process of elimination, it seems likely that Tancredo will follow the lead of his friend, Congressman Steve King, and endorse Fred Thompson.