President Buddy Roemer: Now, More Than Ever

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
March 2 2011 4:40 PM

President Buddy Roemer: Now, More Than Ever

Jonathan Martin delivers a magical* profile of Buddy Roemer, the former congressman, former governor, former Democrat, now launching a presidential exploratory committee that few take seriously.

A talented orator in the tradition of an old-fashioned Southern pol, the Shreveport native will begin his quixotic campaign with an appearance Monday at a Christian conservative forum at a church outside Des Moines. After that, he’ll make his way to New Hampshire and South Carolina. It’ll be his first foray into national politics except for a well-received stint as a surrogate in 2008 for Sen. John McCain.

And how exactly will he fund a national campaign by capping each of his donors at $100 cumulatively in an era when the sitting president may crack the $1 billion mark?

"You think I can get four million Americans to give me $100 each?" he asked. "That’s $400 million dollars."

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Four million donors would be a level of support similar to Barack Obama's record-breaking 2008 outreach. So he is not taking this with the seriousness with which, say, Mitt Romney is taking this. He can be a Duncan Hunter/Mike Gravel sort of candidate, an elder who thinks he should be an elder statesman, and uses chunks of televised debate time to get there.

As of this weekend the official GOP race might be between Herman Cain and Buddy Roemer.

*has Apple copyrighted this word yet?

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. You can reach him at daveweigel@gmail.com, or tweet at him @daveweigel.