Former six-term member of Congress Virgil Goode has traveled a vast political distance. He has been a Democrat, an Independent, a Republican and is currently a member of the National Committee of the Constitution Party from Virginia, and may be positioning himself for a run for president.
In 2009, then still a Republican, he openly flirted with the Constitution Party, addressing a meeting of the party's National Committee. I wrote at the time that Goode might be following in the footsteps of Alan Keyes who repeatedly addressed the party's national committee before running a marginal campaign for the GOP nomination in 2008; bolting the GOP; and then losing the Constitution Party nomination to Florida megachurch pastor and radio commentator Chuck Baldwin, the party's 2004 VP candidate.
Goode is on the agenda for the upcoming meeting Constitution Party National Committee, April 29 and 30, 2011 in Harrisburg, PA.
Confirmed speakers for the meeting include Sheriff Richard Mack - former sheriff of Graham County, Arizona, and long-time crusader for freedom and individual rights; John McManus – President of the John Birch Society; Dr. Taylor Haynes – Recipient of an unprecedented Wyoming write-in vote; Robert Owens – Chairman Constitution Party of Ohio; and Congressman Virgil Goode – (R-VA 1997-2009)
The Constitution Party's (formerly the U.S. Taxpayer's Party) electoral impact has been very small, although it is the largest "third party" in terms of voter registration. Nevertheless, the party sees itself as progressing:
2008 The Constitution Party was on the ballot in 37 states. Presidential candidate Chuck Baldwin and vice-presidential candidate Darrell Castle, endorsed by former GOP presidential candidate, Congressman Ron Paul, polled a higher percentage of the vote than any other Constitution Party presidential ticket in 27 states for a total of 199,314 votes.
Since then, the party picked-up another prominent GOP pol in former Republican Rep. Tom Tancredo, who ran for governor of Colorado in 2010. Interestingly, Sarah Palin (who has history with the Constitution Party) endorsed Tancredo and recorded a robocall for him:
Hi, this is Governor Sarah Palin. I’m calling to ask that you and your neighbors vote for Tom Tancredo to be the next Governor of Colorado on Tuesday. Tom is the right man for the job and he’ll fight for lower taxes, he’ll stop growing government, and start growing the economy. And we know he’ll continue working to end illegal immigration. Please vote for Tancredo on Tuesday. Thank you.
Since its founding in 1992, the party has sought but never managed to recruit a candidate of sufficient star power and political skills to make an interesting race. Pat Buchanan, Alan Keyes (in his prime), Roy Moore (the former elected Chief Judge of the Alabama Supreme Court), then- Senator Bob Smith (R-NH), to name a few, were all courted.
It remains to be seen, of course, whether Goode will seek the nomination of the party of overt theocratic libertarianism. But he is certainly keeping his name in front of the conservatives he would hope to attract. His recent article in The American Conservative denounced the approach of both major parties' to trade policy and national sovereignty; and his inflammatory remarks at a panel on immigration at the annual Conservative Political Action conference gained him national attention on the far right: He warned that immigration will lead to socialism, and ultimately “will not only kill the GOP, it’s going to kill the United States of America.”
[Crossposted from Talk to Action]