I didn’t get to this yesterday, but it is a milestone in presidential politics for 2012: Fred Karger filed papers to become the first declared Republican candidate.
While Tim Pawlenty has created an exploratory committee, Newt Gingrich has hinted at one and Michelle Bachmann plans to create one in the coming months, Karger has actually taken the plunge.
A former GOP operative and Hollywood actor, Karger actually has been campaigning in Iowa and New Hampshire for some time now, and has even run spots in those early states.
But his biggest distinction will be that he’s the first openly gay GOP contender for the White House, which would certainly make things interesting in the coming debates. That, however, appears a longshot in and of itself, as Karger’s challenge will be to be taken seriously as a contender. He’ll also stand out because he characterizes himself as a progressive Republican, which is even more of an oxymoron than his sexual orientation. Making it to the debate platform itself would be a victory, and expect Karger to create plenty of noise to get there, but the GOP official overseeing the debates is no fan of his.
Karger’s most prominent recent work has been in spearheading efforts to get more disclosure of donors to anti-gay marriage orgs like the National Organization for Marriage, and another effort to try to save the Laguna Beach nightspot the Boom Boom Room.
Here’s Karger’s interview on the CBS News webcast on Wednesday.