Chicago businessman John Cox has entered the 2008 race By P.J. Huffstutter, LA Times Staff Writer October 5, 2006
DES MOINES - During the presidential frenzy that descends upon this farmland state every four years, Mary Ann Corrigan has met Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan - and way too many also-rans to name.
Now, blissfully minding her own business at the Machine Shed restaurant, the 72-year-old retired farmer is about to meet John H. Cox.
"I'm running for president of the United States," says Cox, a 51-year-old Republican, as he quickly explains how he would abolish the federal income tax, solve immigration problems and keep gas prices low. Corrigan has barely had a chance to sip her coffee when Cox, a Chicago attorney, accountant and investment manager, churns through his talking points.
Corrigan listens for a couple of minutes, intrigued but clearly confused. Eyeing Cox's dark-blue suit and silk suspenders dotted with miniature White Houses, she interrupts the candidate's sales pitch.
"Excuse me, but who are you again?" she asks. "And why are you bothering me now?"
Even by the standards of most Iowans, who are used to being bombarded with campaign rhetoric, Cox's stumping is considered a tad early. There are, after all, 760 days until Nov. 3, 2008.
But this presidential race offers a dream scenario for the political fringe and not-so-fringe because there is no incumbent running, no vice president with a claim on a party's nomination, and widespread voter discontent among Democrats and Republicans. Issues that have plagued both parties including illegal immigration, the Iraq war and ethics fuel the public's frustration and desire for change.
... an unknown, but a solid businessman, says he's a Reagan Republican, presently a guest on my local talk show radio dial.
He "declared" in October! - Apparently the Repub Party doesn't care!