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The Corner
[W]hat struck me about this week's overlapping presidential announcements by Obama and Tancredo is how similar the two men are, despite their radically different political views and treatment in the media. Obama was a state legislator for a little longer (seven vs. five years), but Tancredo's been in Congress longer (eight vs. two years). Obama was a law professor while Tancredo was just a junior high school teacher, but Tancredo was also an executive in the U.S. Department of Education for 11 years under Reagan and Bush I and was head of a think tank focusing on education issues for six years. Each is a kind of religious apostate, Tancredo moving from Catholicism to evangelical Protestantism, Obama from Islam to the United Church of Christ. The only thing distinguishing them is that Obama doesn't say much about his conventional, bien-pensant leftism, while Tancredo is up front about his orthodox conservatism. Their essential similarities make it all the more risible that Obama is considered a serious candidate while Tancredo is not.
Isaac Chotiner