The Anti-Candidate (Not Really)
By Jay Nordlinger
Impromptus is kind of unusual today — devoted to one subject, a Cuban-American democracy event in Miami. (Go here, if you like.) I mainly write about the Cuban Americans, and, in particular, about Lincoln Diaz-Balart, who has just retired from Congress. But I talk about some other characters, too — including Rep. Thaddeus McCotter, a Michigan Republican. Do you know him? Oh, you’ll want to. He’s a “oner,” as they say in the crossword puzzles. (Often the clue is “A real individual,” or “A unique person.”)
I met him at a little reception before the main event. He was deadpan, funereal — as unlike a politician as you could imagine. He was like a member of the Addams family. I later learned that Bush 43 referred to him as “The Anti-Candidate.” How could such a person get along in politics, much less flourish?
I discovered the answer when he stepped up to the podium, at the main event — and gave just about the most riveting short political speech I have ever heard. The “Anti-Candidate” has serious charisma. It’s simply of an unconventional sort.
Well, the mail has been coming in about McCotter, and I guess I’m one of the last to know. He has a national following, this unusual politician does. A reader writes that he sees McCotter on the Greg Gutfeld show, where the congressman is “always very articulate and droll.” He was that way in Miami, too — morally compelling as well. His remarks were basically about freedom and truth. What else is there? (Some, but not much.)
Anyway, my column takes a break from the Arizona massacre, and the Left’s appalling attempt to pin it on the Republican party — on Republicans, Tea Partiers, Sarah Palin, you, me . . . I’ll resume writing about that shortly.