Kris Kobach will declare for US Senate in early July, a well-placed source tells Cockburn.
This will be the controversial Kobach’s latest attempt at national relevance. For the uninitiated, Kobach the Kansas state secretary, former chair of the national voter fraud board, and failed 2018 gubernatorial candidate — is a sort of anti-Pete Buttigieg. Like Mayor Pete, he’s got the Ivy League bonafides, the policy chops, the central-casting visage, and a tenuous case for countrywide credibility.
Unlike the saint from South Bend, Kobach won’t have a swooning establishment begging him to run. Mitch McConnell, Senate Majority Leader and GOP sheriff, appears intent on stopping him. ‘We haven’t made any decisions about engaging in Kansas, but given the party’s loss in the gubernatorial race last year, it is vitally important that we put our best foot forward in the Senate race,’ Jack Pandol, spokesman for the Senate Majority Fund, told McClatchyDC in May when he declined to rule out an intervention against Kobach.
Members of the White House are circumspect about Kobach too. Kobach is the spitting image of what the populist Right should want — relatively young, ideologically aligned, and above all for an administration that has struggled in this realm, capable. But this administration and president have played footsie with Kobach before, only to balk at hiring him.
The White House recently intervened to stop him from testifying to a House committee, and passed on him for a senior immigration position. Immigration hawks had hoped that Kobach would be named President Trump’s ‘immigration czar’. A reported list of demands, that Cockburn reported at the time, sunk his candidacy. As Cockburn has previously reported, Kobach was actually offered the position of Secretary of Homeland Security before, only to have that offered revoked amid Senate shenanigans.
‘It’s vital that this administration brings in Kobach,’ journo-activist Ryan Girdusky told our own Curt Mills earlier this year. ‘He understands the issue and Trump’s base — far more than most people in Trump’s administration.’ Trump went instead with Ken Cuccinelli, the former Virginia attorney who threw his lanyard down in protest at the 2016 Republican convention. The Cooch, as he’s somehow openly called, is now the acting director of US Citizen and Immigration Services.
Meanwhile, the populist Right’s priority is clear: throw Kobach a life preserver. Kobach appears intent on grabbing one himself anyway. With Secretary of State Mike Pompeo leaning hard against joining this Senate race, Kobach would enter with the highest name recognition, for good and ill. This time, establishment might not be able to squash him.