Rep. Thaddeus McCotter brought his guitar to his presidential announcement earlier this month in Whitmore Lake, Mich.
“It was a district that was perfectly suited to him,” Roe said. “But based on the dysfunction of his campaign — his dysfunction — the NRCC was very concerned about his ability to win the seat he drew for himself.”
McCotter disputes this account of events. He eventually defeated Democrat Kevin Kelley by a huge margin, 57 percent to 40 percent.
“We’ve always raised enough money to win. It worked,” McCotter said. “I’m not one who raises just to raise it. You have to raise it for the certain purpose of getting elected. ... And you only ask when you absolutely need to.”
Indeed, that time appears to be now.
He’s going to have to raise substantially more than the $521,000 he had in his campaign account at the end June to compete on the national scale.
‘Bald Guys Don’t Get Talk Shows’
While McCotter spends weekends in Ames, his future is more uncertain in Livonia.
Local newspapers panned his presidential ambition, chalking up his White House aspirations to his ego. The Oakland Press described the thought of him being president as “a bit scary,” calling him “cold, arrogant and egotistical.”
Meanwhile, McCotter’s district is safer for Republicans than it’s ever been. Republicans recently passed a new Congressional map that shored up the competitive territory he has represented for almost a decade.
The seat is attractive enough that another GOP candidate, state Sen. Mike Kowall, announced he’s running for it while McCotter presses the flesh in Iowa and New Hampshire.
“Right now, Congressman McCotter says he’s running for president. People here are under the assumption he’s not running again,” Kowall said.
And given his indiscernible path to the GOP nod, some Michigan Republicans muse openly that he’s angling for something else besides a spot on the national ticket. Land suggested he could end up eventually with a policy position in the White House.
McCotter denies that he’s aiming for anything less than the 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. address, of course.
“Nope. Please. Bald guys don’t get talk shows,” he said.
Former Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., candidate for U.S. Senate in New Hampshire, holds his hand over his heart during the singing of the national anthem as he waits to take the stage for his town hall campaign rally with Sen. John McCain at the Pinkerton Academy in Derry, N.H., on Monday, Aug. 18, 2014.