"It seems ridiculous to think that Tom Tancredo would run for president. And no one knows that better than Tancredo himself."
So just who the heck is Tom Tancredo? The short answer is a GOP congressman from Colorado. But here's the actual importance:
The conservative firebrand is thinking about chucking his safe congressional seat to make an insurgent bid for the White House.
"It's a possibility. It is," he said in a quiet moment by the fireplace in a hotel lobby as he waited for aides to fetch him for a dinner with activists. "But I hope it doesn't come to that."
What he does want to happen is for immigration to be the defining issue - a "litmus test" - for candidates in the New Hampshire presidential primary three years from now. He would reluctantly consider a race, he said, "as a last resort" if no other candidate takes up the fight.
His aim, he said, is to smoke out the "serious candidates" and force at least one to take up the banner of a crackdown on illegal immigration.
To administer this litmus test, Tancredo has brought together much of the political team of Pat Buchanan...