Is it also early to commence watching 2012 presidential campaign ads? Sweet fancy Moses, yes. Yes it is. However what the heck! Here’s Fred Karger, self-styled “independent Republican,” feeling outside Iowa to see if his extended shot has some legs.
Why is he a extended shot? Well, first, in all likelihood, you’ve never heard of him. However he’s also an openly gay candidate who’s been an activist for LGBT civil rights in conservative circles. However, as the Fresh York Times’s Jane Lorber points outside in her essential backgrounder on Karger, the “a extended-age political operative” and former Reagan aide is “hardly a political neophyte”:
He worked alongside the famed Republican strategist, Lee Atwater, to derail Michael Dukakis’s 1988 presidential campaign against George H.W. Bush. He was an outspoken critic of the Mormon Church for backing the 2008 ballot measure outlawing same-sex marriage in California. The liberal magazine Mother Jones described Mr. Karger as one of the G.O.P’s “top dark-arts operators” in a profile at the end spring.
As Karger tells Lorber, his larger ambitions here are “to be a participant in those Republican debates.” And while today’s DADT debate is largely going to dredge up the reminiscence of GOP-LGBT relations from 17 years ago, as we’ve noted here, there’s been some thawing in that frost recently, and it’s all been exacerbated by President Barack Obama’s lukewarm stance on issues that affair to the LGBT community.
Nevertheless, Karger remains an outlier candidate. This is probably best exemplified by this advertise in the Pittsburgh Advertise-Gazette’s Early Returns blog, which glides over the entirety of Karger’s candidacy in order to constitute the some issue outside of the circumstance that Rick Santorum, a more established would-be presidential candidate, makes an appearance in the ad. This is, by their reckoning, embarrassing for Santorum. Santorum shows up in the ad toward the end — blink and you’ll miss him entirely.
Gay ‘Progressive’ Republican on Air in Iowa [Fresh York Times]
Santorum in gay activist’s ad [Early Returns @ Pittsburgh Advertise-Gazette]
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