He may not be a well-known name outside of western Wayne and Oakland counties, but U.S. Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-Waterford, White Lake, Highland, Milford, Commerce, Wolverine Lake, Walled, Wixom) may throw his hat in the ring against the likes of former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty to battle for the GOP nomination for president in 2012.
The news comes after McCotter — who was first elected to Congress in 2002 — has reportedly dismissed speculation that he was mulling a bid to unseat U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, a Democrat, next year.
Multiple reports across the state have stated the fifth-term Republican is entertaining the notion of a presidential campaign, although a request for an interview with the Spinal Column Newsweekly wasn’t responded to prior to press time.
But just because McCotter is weighing a bid doesn’t mean all are confident he can easily make the leap from the U.S. House to the White House.
David Dulio, chair of the Political Science Department at Oakland University, said he was initially surprised but noted that the current crop of GOP candidates seeking the presidential nomination is “weak.” But that doesn’t mean that McCotter’s chances at a nod from the Republican electorate are any better.
“Nobody knows who he is and he has literally no name recognition outside of Michigan and literally no money,” Dulio said. “Unless he can raise $20 million or $30 million in the next six months (if he runs), he’s not going to have much of a shot. I don’t think he can raise that much money. Maybe he can, but that’s going to be a tough one.”
Others reported to be entertaining a White House bid include former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, U.S. Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-Minn.), former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, former Utah Governor and U.S. Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman, Jr.
McCotter serves on the House Financial Services Committee.